Europe’s socialists are determined that Barroso’s re-election won’t be a mere formality.
They’re expected to field their own candidate for the the Commission presidency, possibly Guy Verhofstat. The former Belgian prime minister is a liberal and his nomination would reflect the socialists need to join forces with other parliamentary groups. The Greens’ strong performance in the election leaves them well placed to influence the outcome. They’ve already made their opposition to Barroso’s re-election clear. “There’s a big majority in France against Mr Barroso, I ask France and the European Council to vote against Mr Barroso.” said Daniel Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Whether they throw their weight behind the Socialists candidate remains to be seen, and whether that would be enough to keep Barroso out is also questionable. But they’re new-found bargaining strength in parliament is not in doubt.