Friday, June 26, 2009

The EPP is openly blackmailing the PES but apparently journalists don’t care

Wednesday at a press conference, the newly re-elected EPP group leader Joseph Daul said that his group was opened to any type of alliance for the European Parliament shared presidency deal. However Daul added that the EPP group would – of course- only make a deal with “people” who back the re-election of Barroso as Commission President at the EP first plenary session on July 15th. I am not sure if I understand why the EP presidency and the Commission presidency have to be connected. Journalists in the room didn’t ask this question though. This is a smart move from the EPP. Either the Socialists accept these conditions -thus risking to loose political clarity and to spur divisions among the PES, or they refuse -thus loosing the power the EP presidency seat gives. Smart move, indeed. Although this declaration sounds like a political bomb, none of the mainstream EU media picked up on it. From what I could see, only Europolitics made a story on it, but the article is not available for free. I haven’t seen anyone mentioning it on Twitter either. Strange thing. Joseph Daul said negotiations with political groups on the technical agreement would start next week. Let’s see what happens.

Update on June 27th:

EU bloggers have started picking up the story. See Jon Worth's "Schizophrenic socialists and poker playing conservatives" and the European Citizen's “PASD Strategy: Opposition or Office?”

Their views converge: the socialists would be better off refusing the EPP presidency deal, and positioning themselves clearly as the opposition party.

Update on June 29th

The press has started to pick up on the story. See Jean Quatremer's blog (in French) and New Europe's website, which even mentions the and websites.


  1. That maybe because none of the people who write about the EU on Twitter are present at those press conferences... and those that are tend to mostly be people from the conservative mainstream media to whom Twitter is an anathema.

  2. fair enough, but what about the journalists? They were there. Among the journalists who asked questions, there were people from Euractiv, Agence Europe, EuropeanVoice, Belga, Reuters and Le Monde, to name but a few... The room was packed.

  3. It's too much of an insider's story, will it fly in the mainstream media? Not sure... Anyway I'll post my take on it now.

  4. But referring to the recent post of The European Citizen - - one could also say that this is a clear sign of politicisation of the European Parliament, with a more open "government" - "opposition" division.

    Consequently, this is not blackmailing but the first sign that the European elections actually play a role in determining EU politics...

  5. Good to see the EU bloggers are picking up the story!
    @Julien, I'm not sure it's a sign of politicisation. If the PASD decides to be in the opposition, then yes it will be. But if PASD decides to accept the EPP deal, then it probably will have the opposite effect. And sorry, I still think it's blackmailing ;-)

  6. Hi,

    I think it's a sign that the EPP have become politicised. The EP in general has become increasingly politicised over the last few years, but in a way I agree with you, Eurosocialiste - if the PASD accept the deal, then the "rate of politicisation" (or whatever the term should be) will slow down, and it will probably be to the PASD's disadvantage.

    As for blackmailing... I think it's just politics. I don't think the PASD should be able to expect to remain in control of the Parliament presidency for half of the time out of tradition. If the political battlefield is extended from the EP to the Commission (and the parties start making more of an impact), then I think it's a good thing.