Financial News

  • 16 June 2014, 8:30

PM Bids To Block Juncker For Top Brussels job

The Prime Minister has stressed the need for an "honest and trusted broker" for the top job in Brussels as he ramped up his campaign to stop Luxembourg's former prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker becoming president of the European Commission.

In a direct appeal to Europeans, David Cameron said the candidate needed to be a reformer "able to re-engage" with voters, and who accepted the EU's needs "may best be served by action at the national level".

In a newspaper article published across Europe, Mr Cameron also hit out at the "backroom deal" that has seen the arch-federalist positioned as the front-runner for the post.

In the recent European elections, Mr Cameron pointed out that the former Luxembourg premier "did not stand anywhere and was not elected by anyone", and most voters had been completely unaware that he was in the running for the powerful role when they went to the polls.

In an article circulated among the European press, Mr Cameron wrote: "We must focus on finding the best candidate for Commission President.

"Someone who can deliver reform, driving growth and creating jobs, and accepting that Europe's needs may best be served by action at the national level.

"An honest and trusted broker able to re-engage Europe's voters."

The Prime Minister is strongly opposed to Mr Juncker'sattempt to succeed Jose Manuel Barroso, who steps down in the autumn after 10 years in the role.

His opposition is backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband, but puts him at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has publicy backed Mr Juncker's candidacy.

Mr Juncker has been put forward by the centre-right European People's Party - the largest grouping in the European Parliament following last month's elections - but is regarded in London as an opponent of reform, whose appointment would make UK departure from the EU more likely.

Mr Cameron has made it clear that he would resist efforts by the European Parliament to claim the right to appoint the new commission president, which he said should be a decision for the elected heads of government of the 28 EU states.

Advertisement