Jose Manuel Barroso has been on the campaign trail to whip up support for a second term as European Commission President.
With the parliamentary vote due next Wednesday, Barroso is struggling to convince his opponents to back him. Although he is expected to get a simple majority, anything less than a convincing win will weaken his mandate. That is why conservative Barroso has been meeting with his detractors. Louis Michel, a Liberal Party MEP, gave his support: “Mr. Barroso knows that this is his last mandate as president of the Commission…he has only to worry about what history makes of him and no one else -it should give him more independence, greater autonomy, audacity, greater authority.” Barroso may have got one Liberal on board but others said they weren’t 100% sure if his programme was for them. He was then off to the Greens. Daniel Cohn Bendit, co-president of the parliamentary Greens was more reserved: “There were two interesting moments when he made concessions…he admitted he had learnt a lot about climate change and he needed to learn more about financial regulation and that’s the direction he wanted to go in.” Although Barroso has no rival for his job and has the backing of the EU’s 27 governments. His supporters say parliament needs to get behind the Commission so it can steer Europe out of the economic crisis.