The tribune is a crucial democratic step which coincides with a letter from eight former socialist leaders, from Frenchman Lionel Jospin to German Gerhard Schröder. The letter deplores the lack of a socialist candidate putting theirselves forward to run the EU commission over the next five years. However, its generally considered that the gesture is coming a tad late. The conservative, incumbent EU commission chief, the Portuguese Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, has already spent months backstage negotiating the composition of his new commission. No-one knows how much support the party of European socialists will get after the 4-7 June elections for the EU parliament.