The match for the posts to be assigned at the European Parliament for the S&D group is getting serious, and several roles seem allocated. Better to say “seem” given that as long as Martin Schulz hasn’t finished his battle to get to the European Commission, decision are frozen. S&D should have formalised its candidacies for the Parliament Vice-Presidency today, buy the deadline was moved to next week, when things are supposed to be clearer. Pittella leads the way to a ‘temporary’ Vice-Presidency, to be turned into a Presidency as soon as Schulz leaves the post to be given him this week.
SASSOLI, PARLIAMENT VICE-PRESIDENT – there’s no official note, but the Italian delegation of the PD will still be led, at least at the beginning, by David Sassoli. The former journalist for RAI has higher ambitions, willing to be elected as President Vice-President, becoming Pittella’s successor. “An ironclad appointment, he’s fighting hard his battle,” explained a source from the Parliament.
GUALTIERI AND THE ECONOMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE – in the Democratic Party other persons have great ambitions, especially Roberto Gualtieri, who’s playing his internal match with Pittella. The MEP, faithful to D’Alema, would lead the group – but he’s currently supported by a minority group. He could play a key role into another match: heading a parliamentary Committee. The Democratic Party, according to the Parliament’s rules, will be the second to choose which Committee it wants lo head – after the CDU/CSU coalition, the first national party. The German Christian Democrats are supposed to choose the Foreign Affairs or Industry, leaving the PD free to get the Economic and Monetary Affairs, a crucial Committee for fighting Matteo Renzi’s battle for reviewing the Stability and Growth Pact as well as other economic rules. Here’s where Gualtieri could become protagonist.
WOMEN – Were things to go this way, the three main roles would be covered by men. No gender equality then? Democrats could then decide to give a woman the Economic Affairs Committee, even though Gualtieri would be more experienced. Yet, the Democratic Party is entitled another Committee Presidency, as well as several Vice-Presidency and roles of Group Coordinators. Was experience to be awarded, then the two re-elected women, Patrizia Toia and Silvia Costa, the first then Vice-President of the Industry Committee and of the group, the latter Vice-Head of the delegation, would lead the way. Yet the “revolutionary spirit” brought about by Renzi could shake up things, leading to a newly elected MEP: for instance, Alessia Mosca, head of the PD list for the North-West Italian electoral district, elected with over 181,000 preferences, elected twice at the Italian Lower House were she was head of the group at the European Policies Committee, member of Enrico Letta’s secretarial staff when he was Under-Secretary and employed at the European Parliament too. That is, great experience of European mechanisms.
THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION – the most important match will be played for the European Commission. Among the Italian PD MEPs everybody knows Paolo De Castro, current president of the Agriculture Committee, who managed all the difficult negotiations on the Common Agricultural Policy, would like to have a role into the new Commission. He would be perfect for Agriculture, given his profile: Renzi yet aims for a more important portfolio – even if rumours in Rome say he will “fight” for De Castro. Yet Renzi would be busy in trying to get Pier Carlo Padoan, current Italian Economy Minister, elected as Head of the EuroGroup, some optimists say. A key role for economic reforms, then. In that case, Renzi could be ‘satisfied’ by a lighter role into the Commission, with De Castro as Commissioner for Agriculture during the negotiations for the TTIP with the US, quite a positive thing for the Italian government.
RENZI TAKES THE FIELD – the Italian Prime Minister so far has been standing by, leaving PD representatives quite free in deciding, even though a direct action led by him could overturn the situation and the (almost) already established positions. Was he to manage directly the negotiations, no one could be brave enough to start a fight.