David Cameron tries to stop Jean-Claude Juncker getting EU top job
Christian Democrats claim mandate for Juncker to head commission as nominee of parliament’s largest caucus.
Europe’s leaders were plunged into a power struggle over who gets the biggest job in the EU, with David Cameron seeking to drum up support to prevent a veteran insider becoming the new head of the European commission.
As national heads of government held a Brussels summit to consider their options after a tumultuous European election that was tantamount to a vote of no confidence in many of the leaders, Cameron attacked the EU as being “too big, too bossy, too interfering”.
The fallout from the weekend elections began to hit politics across the continent when a senior member of the German government labelled France’s Front National (FN) “fascist”, a description that was echoed by a senior member of the commission, following the FN’s rout of the mainstream parties in the ballot in France.
Europe’s Christian Democrats emerged as the biggest caucus in the new parliament and the main parliamentary leaders on Tuesday claimed that as a mandate for their contender, Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg, to be nominated as next head of the commission, a choice vehemently opposed by Cameron.
The parliamentary leaders demanded that the summit rubber stamp that nomination. Cameron was joined by the Hungarian and Swedish prime ministers in rejecting Juncker.
“Europe cannot shrug off theses results. We need an approach that recognises that Europe should concentrate on what matters, on growth and jobs and not try and do so much,” said Cameron. “We need an approach that recognises that Brussels has got too big, too bossy, too interfering. We need more for nation states. It should be nation states wherever possible and Europe only where necessary. Of course we need people running these organisations that really understand that and can build a Europe that is about openness, competitiveness and flexibility, not about the past.”
- The Guardian,