In Strasbourg, the incoming EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has withdrawn his proposed team of commissioners. The investiture vote in the European Parliament has been postponed. Barroso will consult EU leaders and the parliament before putting forward new proposals “in the next few weeks”. That announcement was made this morning.
After a short break, various speakers congratulated Barroso on his decision, as it had looked like he was heading for a fall. Hans-Gert Pöttering of the biggest group, the European People’s Party conservatives, said: “We have backed you all along, Mr Barroso, and will continue to back you.”
This was in reference to the second-largest of the Parliament’s groups, the Socialists, who had opposed approving Barroso’s team. Socialist leader Martin Schulz was one of the most satisfied that the parliament demonstrated it is a political force to reckon with.