Some are calling it the ‘Stop Juncker’ summit.
For blocking Jean-Claude Juncker’s bid to become European Commission President is widely considered to be British Prime Minister David Cameron’s aim at talks with three other EU leaders in Sweden.
Officially other topics are on the two-day Harpsund Summit agenda. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is hosting Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch leader Mark Rutte at his country residence outside Stockholm to discuss the EU.
But Britain’s premier is not happy that, under new rules, Juncker is frontrunner for the EU’s top job.
“This meeting today is really about content, about what Europe should be doing in the next few years,” Cameron told reporters. “But I would just make this important point of principle, which is that as the democratically-elected leaders of Europe, we should be the ones who choose who should run these institutions, rather than accept some new process, which was never agreed and I think that is important.”
Seen as too federalist by Cameron, Luxembourg’s ex-leader is favourite, given the support he has from the centre-right European People’s Party, the EU’s largest political grouping after last month’s European elections. He has also had official backing from Germany’s Angela Merkel – but Cameron is hoping to win her over.
Facing re-election next year, Cameron has pledged to try to reshape Britain’s ties with the EU and to give Britons an in/out EU referendum in 2017. If he fails to block Juncker, he stands to lose face at home and abroad and could see his ruling Conservative Party’s fragile unity begin to fray.