Where is the Greens’ Commission President Candidate?

Article published on April 28, 2009
community published
Article published on April 28, 2009
Written by Matteo Garavoglia is PhD Candidate at the Research College Group (KFG) on the “Transformative Power of Europe” at the Free University of Berlin. One reason for the low turnout at the elections of the European Parliament (EP) is that citizens do not see the point of voting: why to go to the ballot box when one doesn’t know what leader the vote will bring to power?

On the 27th and the 28th of April the European Greens celebrated their congress and one feature was missing: the manifesto failed to nominate the candidate for the presidency of the Commission. This is shameful in that the Greens are not taking up the opportunity of making the Union more democratic by providing European citizens with clear options concerning who should lead the Commission.

Last week the European People’s Party (EPP) announced it would back current incumbent Barroso for another term as president of the Commission. This is not surprising given the fact that Barroso himself comes from the EPP. What is surprising is that no other European political party has put forward its own candidate.

As the only political party with a realistic chance to challenge the EPP, the European Socialists (PES) should eagerly promote a candidate of their own but this is not the case: a lot of soul-searching has so gar been followed by inaction. What sort of impression are the PES and the Greens giving to the European electorate? This situation is all the more shameful in a context whereby the EP has the political tools to force the Council to appoint the leader of the largest European party as the president of the Commission. Are the European political parties ready to give more democracy to the citizens?

Matteo Garavoglia is PhD Candidate at the Research College Group (KFG) on the “Transformative Power of Europe” at the Free University of Berlin.