A signal that the European Parliament can govern from the right
And now for a little bit of European news on a day that may he packed with it due to President Obama abandoning our allies in Eastern Europe for the Russians. Yesterday, the European Parliament re-elected Manuel Barroso as President of the European Commission. Not a big deal right? Not exactly. You see, this is the first time that the leadership of the European Union has been elected without a “Grand Coalition” of the right and left. Instead, the center-right European Peoples’ Party joined forces with the right-leaning (aka econmic) Liberals and Euro-skeptics.
Here’s what Bloomberg reported:
Barroso’s victory in the EU Parliament stemmed from support by the Christian Democrats, the biggest faction, and the pro- business Liberals, the third-largest group. The vote was 382 to 219, with 117 abstentions.
Socialist and Green members, still unhappy that Barroso supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 when he was Portuguese government leader, refused to back his reappointment while failing to present a rival candidate. The Socialists, the second-biggest faction, said Barroso could pick up their support when putting together his next team of commissioners, who will need Parliament approval as a whole.
The leadership of the European Parliament has an option for the first time in history. They can decide to govern from the center-right. This vote was the first example of this coalition actually working. This follows after a crushing defeat of the left in the European elections and the right governing in the leading European countries: Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and others, and David Cameron all but certain to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This gives the right the control of the European Council, in addition to the Commission and Parliament.
Let’s see if the leadership of the European Parliament learns this lesson.