Is the “Stop Barroso” campaign finally running out of steam? Leaders of the main political groups in the European Parliament have pencilled in September 16 as the day when they will hold a vote on whether to confirm José Manuel Barroso for a second five-year term as European Commission president.
If this arrangement holds, then it will mark a defeat for the anti-Barroso forces who wanted to delay the vote until after Ireland held its October 2 referendum on the European Union’s Lisbon treaty. They were striving to create a situation in which (assuming the Irish voted Yes) the EU would simultaneously choose its first full-time president, the bloc’s new foreign policy high representative and the Commission president. In such circumstances, they hoped, Barroso would no longer be a shoo-in to run the Commission. Other candidates would emerge. Haggling would ensue. It would (they dreamed) be adeus, José Manuel.