New Liberal leader in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt has placed the ball firmly in the EU Council’s court over Jose Manuel Barroso’s candidature to stay as European Commission President.With the Parliament’s Liberal, Socialist, Green and GUE/NGL groups having confirmed their objection, Verhofstadt said the leaders’ Council had left its backing vague: “It is not formalised. Everybody is talking about a procedure of nomination. But it is not even started. What happened is that a political decision (was) taken, but the European Parliament has not seen a formal request. In my point of view it is quite original, but not normal.” The odds are against a vote going ahead at the new Parliament’s inaugural session on July 15 — on whether to endorse the Portuguese former prime minister’s bid for a second term heading the EU executive body — though he has the powerful centre right’s backing. Some MEPs want the vote delayed till after Ireland’s second referendum on the Lisbon reform Treaty, expected this October.
EP awaits Council clarity on Barroso