The trade-off of positions continues. Martin Schulz P&S was elected President of the Parliament, for the next two and half years, with the support of the EPP and ALDE groups. Jean Claude Juncker (EPP) is due to be elected President of the Commission next week and will take up office in November.
The UK appears set on the road of an In/Out referendum. Cameron says he is in favour of staying in, subject to reform. While some in Brussels paint the UK as trouble makers, there are many countries who empathise with their general point of view.
Juncker is faced with managing the Commission and of responding to increasing calls for reforms. These reforms may not sit easily with Jean Claude’s own inclinations. As a practical politician, he knows he must move, not only from the nomination process, but that he must now make the system work. He says the Commission portfolios will be assigned on merit and if member states want key positions, they must nominate persons of ability and experience. So it is up to each Government to decide if they want their nominee to be a player or not. Juncker has also said he is prepared to work to find solutions to UK issues.
Yet, things may be a little tense at meetings of the Council. The post of President of the Council is still to be filled. If whoever is appointed is to ensure that all member states move forward together, the new President must have skill, experience and diplomacy. We have suggested in the past that an Irish nominee may well be best suited to the role at this time. We understand the UK and we are popular in Europe coupled to which we are good mediators. Kenny’s meeting with Merkel last week will have discussed the position. The question is has he got the nod for the green jersey to play.