I was pleased to meet Lucinda Creighton TD when I attended the European People’s Party (EPP) congress, which was held in Dublin last week. The purpose of the congress was to select that party’s nominee for the position of President of the EU Commission. Lucinda was there in her capacity as a Vice President of the EPP, and I was delighted when she told me that her position continues to 2015.
From the number of comments that I picked up over the two day event, she is a very popular personality amongst delegates from across the EPP family.
The congress was to some extent overshadowed by events in the Ukraine, as the big names, including Enda Kenny attended a Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday, before flying back to Dublin for the evening session of the congress. The highlight of the day was, without doubt, Yulia Tymoshenko who is now familiar to us all. Her arrival in the wheelchair and the passion with which she spoke on behalf of her country was moving. On Friday, the actual selection of the candidate got underway. Unfortunately, for me, both the winner Jean-Claude Juncker, and his friendly opponent, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier did little but remind me of John Major, the former UK Prime Minister. The only difference was there was no grey suit to complement their lack lustre presentations. Junker, on selection said “We have to explain why the EU is not a phenomenon of the past, but a need of the future. I thank you for the trust that you have given me. We are going to win these elections.”
He needs to energise himself if he is to lead the campaign successfully. The polls from across Europe suggest that he will become the Commission President. I’d suggest that it will be on the back of the capacity of the constituent member parties’ ability to wage their own campaigns.