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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora