Jean-Claude Juncker may be the man the centre-right European People’s Party want as president of the European Commission but he won’t have an easy ride.
The German press reports on Sunday that both British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande say they won’t back him.
German newspaper Der Spiegel quotes Cameron as saying the UK would bring forward a referendum on EU membership if Junker got the top job. Cameron was speaking on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday.
Meanwhile another German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, says Hollande wants a French person to take the position and is trying to block Juncker. Hollande has apparently told Merkel that following the far-right National Front’s strong showing in the European elections, he needs a signal for his government.
Junker, who was previously the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, has shrugged off the comments, saying that a majority of Christian Democratic and socialist leaders in the European Council back him.
The European Commission president is selected by EU leaders but must be approved by a majority in the parliament. For the first time, the leaders are now obliged to “take into account” the election results when making their choice.
The European People’s Party party won the most seats in the EU elections and Jean-Claude Juncker is their chosen candidate for the job.