Monday, 5 October 2009

EU capitals: Time to nominate candidates for President & High Representative

After the overwhelming Yes vote in the Irish Lisbon 2009 referendum, the democratic legitimacy of the Lisbon Treaty has been secured in all 27 EU member states. Only two signatures are missing.

It is time to get back to business, but first the institutions of the European Union must be put in working order.

On 1 November 2009 the old Commission will turn into a caretaker administration. Hopefully a new Commission, under the Lisbon Treaty rules, can take over soon. The European capitals should now publish their proposed candidates, if they have not done so. The new Commission should move towards parity between women and men.

President-elect José Manuel Barroso should keep the public informed about the proposals and the process.


Given the minimal size of the electoral college, the President of the European Council and the High Representative/Vice-President now require open nominations from the capitals to allow for a public debate.

Only those who have public government backing should be considered eligible. Give each country the right to propose one candidate for each post. They can be their own nationals or from another member state.

The process becomes a mockery of sound decision making in step with EU citizens, if it is conducted in secret and public discussion is based on leaks to the media.

Ralf Grahn