EU’s Barroso confirms bid for a second mandate

June 9th, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, June 9 (DPA) The head of the European Union’s executive Tuesday formally confirmed that he wants to hold onto his job for another five years.
“The President of the European Council (of EU member states) has today asked me if he can put forward my name for a second mandate… I have agreed to this request,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said after a meeting with Czech premier Jan Fischer.

Fischer currently heads the EU’s rotating presidency, and is set to chair a summit of EU leaders June 18-19 in Brussels. That summit is expected to discuss the question of who should steer the commission for the next five years.

Barroso, formerly the centre-right premier of Portugal, was chosen by EU member states to head the bloc’s executive in June 2004 as a compromise candidate after the original front-runners failed to win EU-wide support.

He has long been tipped to win re-election at the June summit, despite calls from France to delay any formal moves.

But he said that his acceptance “presupposes that the European Council and the European Parliament embrace the ambitious political programme that I will propose for Europe for the next five years”.

Any agreement by member states would have to be endorsed by the European Parliament. However, elections this weekend made centre-right parties the most powerful bloc in the parliament, strengthening Barroso’s chance of approval.

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