European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has accepted an EU request to lead its executive branch for a second term after his mandate expires in October but says he will only remain if the bloc adopts his "ambitious" five-year plan.
AFP - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso accepted Tuesday a request from the European Union presidency to stand for a second five-year term as head of the bloc's executive arm.
"I have agreed to this request," he told reporters, after talks in Brussels with Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency until the end of the month.
Barroso has long coveted a new mandate after his current term expires at the end of October, but he said he would only take on the job if EU member nations and the bloc's parliament endorsed his programme for Europe's future.
"This acceptance pre-supposes that the European Council (representing the member states) and European parliament embrace the ambitious programme that I will propose for Europe for the next five years," he said.
"I believe that in time of (economic) crisis, we need a strong commission and a strong European Union," he said. "We need ambition."
Fischer said he would travel to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Barroso's candidacy, before speaking with the rest of the EU's 27 leaders, either in person in their capitals or by telephone.
The European Commission is the EU's unelected executive arm. It is guardian of the bloc's treaties, proposes legislation and polices competition issues, and will have an annual budget next year of 138 billion euros.
The two men were talking the day after it was announced that centre right European People's Party, of which Barroso is a member, had gained the most seats in EU parliamentary elections.
Date created : 2009-06-09