Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Netanyahu says Gaza operation will not end quickly

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

Europe

Barroso wins new term as EU Commission chief

Video by Oliver FARRY

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-16

The European parliament reinstated Jose Manuel Barroso as European Commission president for another five years on Wednesday, despite criticism of his handling of the global financial crisis.

AFP - After months of wrangling and political muscle-flexing, the European parliament is set Wednesday to return Jose Manuel Barroso to the EU's most high-profile post: European Commission president.
   
Since they were elected in June, many parties in the new assembly have variously railed against the former Portuguese premier, particularly over his handling of the economic crisis, but no other candidate has emerged.
   
And as Barroso put the finishing touches to his campaign in Strasbourg Tuesday, it appeared that he had clinched the support of around 400 of the 736 deputies, more than enough to win a new five-year mandate.
   
Support from the 53-year old politician's conservative brethren was never in question, but doubts had emerged as to whether the Socialist bloc, the second largest in the parliament could be persuaded to back him.
   
The Greens had most vehemently opposed him as a lackey of the leaders of the 27 European Union member states, but even they failed to stand up another candidate.
   
Indeed he was the only publicly-declared contender for the top job.
   
But "of those who stand a credible chance of winning" support from the parliament, said Centre for European Reform expert Charles Grant, "Barroso is the most committed to the kind of openness that Europe needs."
   
The European Commission is the EU's executive arm. Based in Brussels, it is responsible for drawing up legislation that impacts on the lives of about half a billion Europeans, as well as enforcing the rules already in place.
   
Its president -- who like the commissioners is appointed rather than elected -- has significant leverage to influence legislative priorities. The commission will have a budget of 138 billion euros (200 billion dollars) in 2010.
   
On September 3 in a pitch to remain in Brussels, Barroso vowed to work to build an "ambitious Europe" with "people at the heart of the policy agenda".
   
"Europe is facing stark choices in today's interdependent world. Either we work together to rise to the challenges. Or we condemn ourselves to irrelevence," he said.
   
"I will redouble my efforts to make an ambitious Europe happen," he said.
   
But while he outlined goals that few would argue with, flattering all parties, it remains unclear exactly how the multilingual head of one of the EU's three main institutions would achieve that.
   
To please Liberals in the assembly, Barroso said he would create the post of an EU commissioner for basic rights. The Socialists saw a man focused on working hours and worker mobility and appear divided.
   
Barroso tried to mollify the Greens with his approach to global warming.
   
While his fate had appeared in some doubt, it could become clear as soon as Tuesday night, after the Liberals and Socialists reach their final verdicts on his future.
   
Barroso needs only a simple majority to secure his job, but it appears he could even secure enough votes to ensure his post cannot be questioned in future if the new Lisbon reform treaty enters force, possibly next year.
 

Date created : 2009-09-16

COMMENT(S)