Reinfeldt: No discussions about Juncker in Harpsund

2:52 min

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is hosting a meeting of centre-right European leaders south of Stockholm today, but claims the decision about whether to select Jean-Claude Juncker as new president of the European Commission will not feature in the discussions.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Dutch PM Mark Rutte are to meet with Reinfeldt today at the Swedish Prime Minister's country residence in Harpsund.

Speaking to Swedish Radio, he said that the mini-summit would not be about the commission presidency, but about how to reform the European Union to promote growth and competitiveness.

He says the issue of the Commission President will wait until a new summit later in June.

In another interview with Swedish TV this morning, Reinfeldt did say that the British scepticism to selecting Juncker must be taken seriously. Reinfeldt has previously said it should be up to government leaders to decide who should become commission president, not the European Parliament. He refused to say whether he was personally in favour of Juncker or not.

Jean-Claude Juncker is the preferred candidate of the centre-right EPP group in the European Parliament, the largest group following the recent elections.

Reinfeldt also played down rumours that he himself could be a compromise candidate for the position, saying his priority was to get re-elected as Prime Minister in the upcoming General Election in September.

He also discussed euro-scepticism in the United Kingdom, and emphasised the importance of British EU membership for Sweden: "It would be very serious if they left", he said, "their will to reform and their membership of the single market are very important, this is very important for Sweden", he added.

David Cameron was the last to arrive, saying, "I am glad to be here with my good friend Fredrik Reinfeldt." Cameron claimed, like the others, that the meeting will be about what the EU should be doing, but also acknowledged that there there is obviously a clear connection to those important positions.

Mark Rutte did not want to speculate about whether or not they will talk about the Commission President issue this evening but said he will focus on with what the EU commission will work.

"I have worked a lot in life chosing people for important positions. My opinion has always been that you first have to discuss the job profile and then who is best qualified for the job," Rutte said.

Angela Merkel is the only one of the four who openly supports Juncker for the position. However, she did not bring the issue up herself, only in an answer to a direct question, which she answered by saying that she would support Juncker if the question came up in tonight's discussion.