Correspondent's Choice

This post comes from the desk of one of EurActiv’s correspondents and relates to this story.

After weeks of deliberation, the European Parliament is still divided on whether to hold a vote on the new Commission president under the Nice Treaty or wait until the outcome of the second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, which is scheduled for 2 October.

Signaling a nerve-wracking wait for José Manuel Barroso, leaders of the Parliament’s political groups have agreed to delay until 10 September their decision on when to stage a vote on the Portuguese’s bid for a second term at the EU executive’s helm.

Under the Nice Treaty, the president of the Commission is elected by simple majority, while an absolute majority would be needed under the Lisbon Treaty, increasing the chances of a ‘no’ vote for Barroso, the incumbent and only candidate for the job.

If the Parliament decides to wait until the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, the election of the Commission president could be considered part of a nomination package which would also include the high representative for foreign affairs and the permanent president of the European Council, both of which are new positions established by Lisbon.

The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), backed by the Swedish Presidency and EU heads of state and government, had been pushing for an early decision on Barroso’s re-appointment, arguing that Europe needed clarity over its leadership during times of recession.

But MEPs from the Socialist and Liberal groups, backed by the Greens and leftists, argued differently, saying any decision on major appointments should wait until after the September general election in Germany and the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland, to be held on 2 October.

What do you think? Is the Parliament right to delay Barroso’s re-appointment? Or do you think MEPs are buying time for other candidates to emerge?

Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

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