November 13, 2012
The current European Commission is half way in its term, and already talks of the future Commission President are on their way. The Barroso II Commission is not doing so well in a recent opinion poll conducted by EurActiv and Burson-Marsteller and that seems to be further empowering this debate. One of the names that seems to get a lot of publicity on the matter is that of Guy Verhofstadt, and Georgi Gotev reported on that here and here. His reports provide an interesting insight into this matter, and I urge those interested into the matter to check them out.
On the other hand, Georgi Gotev talks about the apparent EPP support for Donald Tusk as proposal for President but argues that “However, it is unclear if the EPP nominate Tusk, who comes from a country outside the eurozone and whose command of English may not be sufficient for leading complicated discussions at the highest level”. And this is one line I have to disagree with.
And I can explain why. While, as a federalist, I would like to see Verhofstadt appointed as Commission President, given his long support of the Federalist cause, I believe that the next Commission President should come from outside the eurozone and from the East.
Eastern EU countries have higher confidence levels in the EU and as such support, popular support within the eastern countries would increase. A position of power for these countries would also create some momentum to accelerate reform where needed. Development would be given a boost, notably with international players, as a recognition for efforts to catch up with western Europe.
Moreover there are many key politicians in the East, notably from the EPP, that support the Federal Agenda. Tusk with his hands-on problem solver attitude is just one of many possible candidates.
Pushing a candidate from outside the eurozone would also quiet down euro-skeptics that proclaim the de-facto division of the EU in euro and non-euro blocks – it is a bridge builder move.
There are many aspects that need to be accounted for, and this is where i agree with Georgi Gotev – a debate is needed.
2014 is not yet here. There is still time.Horatiu Ferchiu