The latest summit in Brussels saw Jose Manuel Barroso win endorsement from Conservative leaders across the bloc for a second term as the President of the European Commission. The European People’s Party backing includes the leaders of France, Germany and Italy. This makes the Portuguese liberal the clear favourite to head the EU executive body after its current term ends this June.
Alain Lamassoure at the European Parliament said: “He enjoys the trust of European personalities from all the parties, the Socialists, Mr. Gordon Brown and Mr. Zapatero included. He’s in a good position if he wants a second mandate.” The senior Socialist in the European Parliament, Dane Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, a former prime minister, is a prospective challenger, except that the party has not yet nominated a candidate for the position of Commission president.