When the European Council on 18 to 19 June 2009 put forward José Manuel Barroso as the intended nominee for the post of President of the Commission, this blog wondered why the heads of state or government did not make an official nomination, why the European Parliament should vote on an unofficial proposal and what the European leaders hoped to gain by delaying the nomination for a few weeks.
Typically, no reasons have been given, but today the Council has issued a press release on a written procedure:
“Council decides to nominate Mr. José Manuel Durão Barroso as the person it intends to appoint as President of the Commission for 2009-2014
Following the European Council on 18 and 19 June 2009, the Council, in the composition of Heads of State or Government, adopted today a decision nominating Mr. José Manuel Durão Barroso as the person the Council intends to appoint as President of the Commission for the period from 1 November 2009 to 31 October 2014.
The decision will be forwarded to the European Parliament.” (Brussels, 9 July 2009 11850/09) (Presse 212)
Sweden’s EU Minister Cecilia Malmström has commented in positive terms on her blog.
Meanwhile, the political groups in the European Parliament had told the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt that the EP vote on Barroso will take place later than the July 2009 inaugural session.
Despite the timing, after the tripartite agreement between the political groups of the European People’s Party (EPP), the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (PASD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) the road seems to be clear for a reappointment of Barroso, as reported by Jean Quatremer on Coulisses de Bruxelles.
This will intensify the efforts by the national governments to propose members for the next Commission, if they have not done so, and to jockey for important posts for the next five years, although it is still unclear if the new Commission will be confirmed under Lisbon of Nice Treaty rules.