The center-right European People’s Party has given public backing to the re-appointment of Jose Manuel Barroso for a second term as the president of the European Commission.
The EPP’s unanimous decision came at the end of the party’s two-day congress in Warsaw, at which it launched its European Parliament election campaign. EPP Secretary General Antonio López-Istúriz praised the 53-year-old Portuguese former prime minister’s track record since he took office in 2004, and said: “We believe that part of what is gained from a free market economy, one in which we do not intervene, self-regulated to see that fair play is observed… We believe that this economy will generate profits that will be passed along to address social questions.” Barroso ‘s first mandate expires in November. He has already won Spain, Portugal, France and Britain’s support. But neither his handling of Europe’s response to the financial crisis has escaped criticism, nor the Commission’s position on leaving Polish shipyards to compete without subsidies. Guest of honour at the meeting Lech Walesa, of Solidarity trade union fame, also appealed to Europe’s social conscience.