A Classic Carve Up Or What?

Last week when I wrote of the scramble for members of the groupings within parliament, little did I think that Fianna Fail (FF) and their MEP Brian Crowley, would part ways. Crowley’s relationship with the ALDE group has not been good since FF left the centre right UEN group in 2009, which was jointly chaired by Crowley, to join the liberal focused ALDE group. Brian’s move has now pushed the ECR into third largest group ahead of ALDE. The three long established groups, the EPP, S&P and ALDE, formed a grand alliance last week, which ensures a majority for Juncker as President of the Commission and Martin Schulz as President of the Parliament. The question is what has ALDE got. Could it be that our old friend Ollie Rehn of ALDE, is lined up for the High Representative Post to replace Lady Ashton?
To get Juncker through, as the nominee for President of the Commission, has caused some problems for the Heads of States. Since the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, Parliament has held a veto on the nominee for President of the Commission. The Lisbon Treaty changed the process, but it’s more cosmetic than anything else. There is now a requirement that account be had of the outcome of the EU Elections in making the nomination.
The big task now is to find a resolution of the British concerns, not only about Juncker’s suitability but also the direction in which he may take the EU. The concerns expressed by David Cameron are shared by other PMs and it seems some PMs have achieved a shift in the direction of the fiscal policy, which Juncker favours.