Should Juncker be the next President of the European Commission? “This is nonsense” – “Nowhere was Mr Juncker on the ballot paper, he did not stand anywhere and was not elected by anyone.” A decided refusal by David Cameron to the possibility of Jean-Claude Juncker becoming the next head of Commission. His words were published by several European newspapers, the British PM explained his rejection – we’d say not of the former Luxembourg PM, “European politician with long-standing experience”, but of the entire mechanism allowing the European Parliament to indicate him as the only legitimate candidate to that post.
Some say he’s antidemocratic when he says the EU needs to choose a candidate different from the one indicated by the party which won the European election, a lapidary Cameron said “Some MEPs invented a new process, according to which they should both choose and elect a candidate.” A concept that “has never been agreed with the European Council, nor negotiated among European Institutions, never ratified by national Parliaments.” To accept such a claim “would be deeply damaging for Europe and would undermine, rather than strengthen, the EU’s democratic legitimacy.
Set aside the ‘Juncker hypothesis’ it is now time to focus on the choice “of the best possible candidate” as Commission President. Cameron has got a quite clear identikit in his mind: he or she needs to be someone “able to keep up with reforms, to drive growth and create employment” as well as someone “acknowledging that European needs could be better satisfied with national-level actions. An honest and reliable mediator, able to get European electors back.” Not so ‘theoretical’ qualities after all: according to Cameron in fact, going along with the European Parliament’s idea “would prevent a Prime Minister or President in office to become President of the European Commission, with an artificial restriction of the talents available, when Europe needs the most from it.”