PM 'Will Force Europe To Vote On Juncker'
David Cameron has set himself on a collision course with his EU counterparts after it was revealed he may force a vote on Jean-Claude Juncker's bid to become president of the European Commission.
The Prime Minister, who sees the controversial candidate as a symbol of Europe's past and a potential obstacle to reform, is expected to set out his concerns when he meets Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council.
If Mr Juncker is forced through as the council's nomination, Mr Cameron will call a vote at a meeting of the 28-member bloc on Friday, requiring each country to set out their position clearly.
A Downing Street source told Sky News the vote would be "unprecedented" and a "break away" from the traditional approach of the European Council, which has always managed to find a consensual candidate.
"British officials have been clear ... that if there was the political will to find consensus, then the decision on Commission President could and should be delayed," the source said.
"But if leaders aren't even willing to consider alternative names, despite their widely expressed misgivings, then a vote should take place."
Despite opposition from Mr Cameron, Mr Juncker enjoys support from many European leaders, including French president Francois Hollande and Italy's Matteo Renzi.
His election would make the possibility of Britain's departure from the EU more likely, with voters in the UK increasingly demanding change in Brussels.
However, in an interview with Sky's Murnaghan programme, Poland's foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said the process for nominating Mr Juncker was democratic because he was the choice of the centre-right European People's Party, the largest group in the European Parliament.
"In Dublin a couple of months ago, we agreed that this time it would be more democratic, not just national leaders meeting in a room overnight and coming out with a solution," he said.
"This time we decided to nominate a candidate ahead of the election.
"The candidates of the socialists, the liberals and the centre-right were plastered all over Europe, so those who bothered to take an interest knew that if they voted for us, Mr Juncker would be the candidate.
"We won - we got the largest number of votes - and so we, as the EPP, are having the first shot at putting together a team that will create a coalition.
"The winning party's top candidate is the candidate for the top job - that's democracy."
But he added: "I think there's still every room for influencing Mr Juncker's programme and (his) team, including the position of Britain's commissioner."