HOT TOPICS  / Invasione russa in Ucraina Qatargate Coronavirus Fit for 55 Energia Hge Agrifood Salute


di Lorenzo Robustelli
Direttore di Eunews Follow @LRobustelli
If Rehn loses credibility

If Rehn loses credibility

Rehn (former professional soccer player) dribbles Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, in a benefit game in 2006
Rehn (former professional soccer player) dribbles Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, in a benefit game in 2006

There are those who cannot run (Berlusconi) and those who, on the other hand, are in a real hurry (Rehn). Next May’s European elections are beginning to liven up the political life of the old world and this time, who knows, perhaps they will succeed in having a slightly more significant than usual impact on citizens. If nothing more than because many key players in the political life, with various titles, will be playing, thanks to the choices made by European MEPs, indicating a candidate for the Presidency to the Commission for every European party.

In Italy lately people are talking about, hypothesizing, that Silvio Berlusconi will obtain candidacy in another EU country, trying to circumvent the Italian law which deprived him of his passive electorate. He would have to acquire new citizenship and perhaps he would be a “Maltese” or “Bulgarian” MEP, but he would have a minimum of immunity again. We don’t know if he could step foot in Italy without risking arrest but Malta is a marvelous place.

On the other hand, a much more serious issue for Europe is the untimely decision of Olli Rehn to already announce last Sunday that he will run in the next European Parliamentary elections with the liberals (his party) and that he will also run for the Presidency of the Commission. I don’t hold much esteem for Rehn as Commissioner. He is a nice man (in the cold of Finland) and I believe he is a good, honest, person. But so far he has not demonstrated enough signs of leadership quality to imagine him as a good President of the Commission. But one who aspires to advance his career, yes. What is really wrong is that 6 months ahead he announced that he will run for European MEP and leader of a political family (going up against the nomination of the Belgian Guy Verhofstadt). What credibility is there when he then speaks of the Italian situation (a government of a grand coalition led by a Prime Minister who attends European Socialist party meetings) or comments on the Greek situation (Epp’s Prime Minister) or in Holland (Liberal Prime Minister)?

Since Sunday, a Rehn who looks for electoral consensus from the stern Finnish people (one of those whose government would also have left Greece, Portugal and Ireland to drown) no longer has the credibility that Rehn, as a liberal leader who performed his duties as a Commissioner under oath of impartiality. The European Head of the New Center Right, Giovanni La Vie, spoke, commenting on the interview notes in The Republicca granted today: “His decision to run for the presidency of the European Commission with the European liberal party renders his own words even less attributable to his institutional role.” He becomes an easy target.

In the Commission they attempt to diminish the importance of the issue, they say legally everything is in order, that then President José Manuel Barroso will decide when to invite Rehn to resign from his role as Commissioner (the requirement expires about 6 weeks before the election). The question however is about political opportunity. We have no doubt that the future evaluations of economic policies of member states that Rehn will present in February will be the most transparent imaginable, but will the heads of government who will be under accusation also see it this way? Will all the press and citizens see it this way? Or perhaps, even by thinking this way, in as much as the commissioner and Commission will not attack because, it is known, he is in full swing for the election campaign.

The Finnish Commissioner’s portfolio is challenging, one needs to be able to carry on.

 Lorenzo Robustelli