Monday, 17 March 2014

The Juncker vs. Schultz battle

"The former Grand-Duchy's prime minister vs. the President of the European Parliament. The dinosaur who negotiated the Maastricht treaty and was part of every EU-summit between 1995 and 2013 vs. the crocodile who survived to the storms of the European political life since 1994 and tug himself at the top so much he became unavoidable": for Libération's correspondent in Brussels Jean Quatremer, May's European elections will definitely be a clash between two European politics veterans, leading respectively the conservative European People's Party (Epp) and the European Socialists' Party (ESP).

If you add the other main parties' candidates to the European commission's presidency — Guy Verhofstadt (Liberals), José Bové and Franziska Keller (Greens) and Alexis Tsipras (Left) —
almost all are coming from the 'old' Europe. […] Europhobes and euroscepics did not even try to find a common candidate : nationalism does not mix up easily with the choice of a foreigner to run an electoral campaign.
Quatremer continues with a huge portrait of Jean-Claude Juncker, explaining why, in the end, the "dinosaur" —
might actually not be running for the seat he officially is, but for the chair of the European council. Sure, he had to swear he was not, but in politics, you know what promises are worth. So why such a move? To please the German Chancelor, the arbiter elegantiarum of Europe, who dislikes the institutional 'coup' attempted by the European political parties when they decide to disobey the rules. Those stated that the head of the Commission is designated by the 28 head of State and governments. According to Quatremer —
The Juncker candidacy would allow her to designate him as president of the…European council the day after the European elections. The EPP would then have no more candidate to the European commission's chair, and therefore, the head of State could do what they want. But this could work only if Martin Schulz does not win: and polls say that, for the first time since 1999, the Socialists are slightly ahead.


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