Daily Archives: July 15, 2009

Tony Barber

If it were not funny, it would be tragic.  The UK Conservative party’s decision to quit the European People’s Party (EPP), the main centre-right political group in the European Parliament, is backfiring on the Tories in spectacular fashion.  The decision was always daft – a bit like the right wing of the US Republican Party splitting off and forming a minority group in Congress – but it now looks more short-sighted than ever.

On Tuesday the Tories relinquished the leadership of their new “anti-federalist” faction, the so-called European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, to Michal Tomasz Kaminski, a Polish politician.  They felt obliged to do so after Edward McMillan-Scott, a Tory MEP, refused to respect a deal in which Kaminski had been promised one of the parliament’s prestigious vice-presidency posts. Read more

Jerzy Buzek’s election as president of the European parliament yesterday provided a temporary let up in the speculation surrounding who will land the more powerful jobs leading the Commission and as first permanent president of the Council. Very temporary.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the Franco-German Green MEP still best known for his May 1968 antics, is now suggesting José Manuel Barroso should get the Council job “as a “perfect compromise” and a “face-saving” move for both the European Parliament and the EU heads of state and government,” reports Euractiv, a Brussels-beltway news service. (That would leave the Commission job open for a centre-left candidate, one assumes). Read more