News / Europe

Cameron Ally Accuses EU Leaders of Duplicity Over Juncker Pick

Candidate for the European Commission presidency Jean-Claude Juncker arrives at an European People's Party (EPP) meeting in Brussels, ahead of an informal dinner of EU leaders, May 27, 2014.
Candidate for the European Commission presidency Jean-Claude Juncker arrives at an European People's Party (EPP) meeting in Brussels, ahead of an informal dinner of EU leaders, May 27, 2014.
Reuters
— One of British Prime Minister David Cameron's top allies on Monday accused European leaders of duplicity over the possible choice of Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president, something London wants to block.

Speaking before a meeting between Cameron and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in London later on Monday, George Osborne, the finance minister, suggested EU leaders were being upbeat about Juncker publicly but negative privately.

"I think there's a rather odd phenomenon at the moment which does happen believe it or not in politics which is people are saying quite a lot of things privately which they're not saying publicly,'' Osborne told BBC radio.

Osborne's comments reflect deep frustration in Britain about the way the EU is handling the appointment after Cameron's attempts to try to build an alliance against the 59-year-old former prime minister of Luxembourg collapsed.

Britain opposes Juncker because it believes his federalist views mean he is not the right person to drive reform, something Cameron has promised to deliver if re-elected next year. London also strongly believes that EU leaders, and not the European Parliament as in Juncker's case, should nominate candidates.

The matter is likely to come to a head when EU leaders meet in Belgium on Thursday and Friday this week with Britain looking increasingly isolated on the issue.

Private and public views

Van Rompuy's London meeting is likely to be frosty. Due to be held just after lunch, bonhomie will be in short supply as he and Cameron discuss Juncker over coffee and biscuits.

Cameron has made it clear he wants to try to force an unprecedented vote on Juncker's candidacy if Van Rompuy seeks to push it through later this week.

Such decisions are usually taken on the basis of consensus without a vote. But Cameron's vote tactic is designed to flag up his disappointment with what he sees as others' duplicity on the issue and to show the British media and public that he tried hard even if, as expected, he fails to block Juncker.

Some EU insiders say Cameron's tactics have so far been deeply misguided, betraying a misunderstanding of the consensual way in which the EU works.

Aides have said Cameron thought from private discussions that some other EU leaders shared his views about Juncker and the flawed nature of the selection process, but their position changed when it came to speaking out publicly .

On Sunday, Iain Duncan Smith, minister for work and pensions, said Cameron had told him that Germany and Italy harbored concerns about Juncker's suitability for the job too.

But he said they felt obliged to back him because of promises they had made before last month's European elections in which Eurosceptic parties prospered in Britain and elsewhere.

"If they give Jean-Claude Juncker a job, this is like literally flicking two fingers at the rest of Europe and saying to all the people out there 'we know that you voted the way did, but you're wrong and we're just going to show you how wrong you are by carrying on as though nothing happened'," he said.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (1)
Comments
     
by: wavettore from: USA
June 23, 2014 1:09 PM
It should all be clear:
“Many simultaneous rebellions stirred up in Arab Countries will benefit in the end only the State of Israel with the expansion of its territory while... in Europe and in the US, the financial resources "like magic" will disappear through bailouts, tax cuts and elaborated emergency maneuvers which will be ruled only to appear beneficial for those Countries but instead appositely designed for their collapse (except for England that will push Europe over the precipice).” There is only one Solution to this planned chain of events.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid