European Union

Backing of Barroso Pleases Reinfeldt

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt welcomes the unanimous backing among European leaders of José Manuel Barroso for a second term as president of the European Commission. He hopes this will help to convince the EU parliament to endorse Barroso already when it convenes for the first time in mid-July.

"If there is a severe delay and any uncertainty, it will undermine how strong the Commission can be, and how strongly it can act in support of the Swedish presidency. All the institutions of the EU will be affected if we do not have a Commission that is able to act," says Fredrik Reinfeldt in an interview with Swedish Radio.

Sweden takes over the EU presidency on the first of July. Together with the current EU president, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, Reinfeldt will now start negotiating with the various political groups of the EU parliament. So far, it is only the Conservative group EPP that has given Barroso its backing.

Asked why he finds Barroso to be the best person for the job, Reinfeldt gave Swedish Radio a whole list:

"He has been the president of the European commission for five years, he has the ability to represent small and middle-size countries, he has been a strong driving force in several important issues that have come up during his time as the Commission president, like climate change and the financial crisis."

"I think that he, on several occasions, also has stood up for the internal market and resisted ideas of protectionism, which has been important. He was suggested as a candidate already before the EU elections, which has not been the case earlier. Therefore, it has been possible for the European voters to have their say in this. And he has got no rival candidate," says Prime Minister Reinfeldt.