The international edition of Helsingin Sanomat, the largest Finnish daily, quotes Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen backing a second term for José Manuel Barroso as President of the European Commission:
Vanhanen leads the Finnish Centre Party, a member of ELDR (European Liberal and Reform Party) and its members of the European Parliament sit in the ALDE group (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), the third largest group.
Vanhanen’s statement raises a few questions:
Has the ELDR decided to abstain from campaigning for the next Commission President in the June 2009 European elections, when the spirit of the Lisbon Treaty has raised hopes for increased input by citizens?
Or, is Vanhanen’s ‘personal’ initiative an indication of a split within the ELDR?
By the way, the Swedish Green Party has decided to refrain from demanding secession from the European Union, less than 14 years since accession. Swift action …