Cameron: Juncker wasn’t in the ballot papers

(Credit: [Vepar5/Shutterstock])

British Prime Minister David Cameron today (13 June) used what appears to be his strongest argument against the procedure to elect the next Commission President, saying that Jean-Claude Juncker, the leading candidate of the largest party following the European elections, was “nowhere on the ballot”.

Cameron does not want Juncker to get the job as he views him as too much of an old-style federalist who will obstruct his push to reform the European Union and persuade British voters of the merits of staying within the 28-nation bloc.

Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain's ties with Brussels, ahead of holding an in/out referendum on the country's EU membership by 2017, if he wins a national election next year.

While he has made his opposition to Juncker clear, repeatedly saying the job should go to someone more reform-minded, he has largely shied away from referring to Juncker by name.

On Friday, the prime minister warned against the suggestion of some in the European Parliament that the job should go to the candidate put forward by the party which won the most seats. Juncker has the support of the European People's Party, the largest centre-right political grouping in the parliament.

"It is not an attack on Mr Juncker, an experienced European politician, to say this is nonsense. Most Europeans did not vote in the European Parliament elections. Turnout declined in the majority of member states. Nowhere was Mr Juncker on the ballot paper," Cameron wrote in an article which his office said would be published in several European newspapers on Friday.

Cameron said that even in Germany, where the concept of the lead candidates was most well publicised, only 15% of voters knew Juncker was in the running.

"He did not visit some member states. Those who voted did so to choose their MEP not the Commission president. Mr Juncker did not stand anywhere and was not elected by anyone," he said.

EU leaders are expected to decide on their candidate for the presidency of the EU executive - a job with major influence over policy affecting 500 million Europeans - by a summit at the end of this month.

To accept that Juncker had been chosen by European voters would set a dangerous precedent, Cameron said.

"It would politicise the European Commission," he wrote. "It would be a green light for those who want to breach the EU's rules by the backdoor. Rules that have been ratified by our national parliaments and laid down in international law."

Cameron, whose objection to Juncker has put him at odds with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been trying to rally support among other European leaders to block the former Luxembourg prime minister from getting the job.

He held talks in Sweden earlier this week with Merkel, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Dutch premier Mark Rutte, and has also called Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

"Now is the time for Europe's national leaders to have the courage of their convictions by standing up for their place in the EU and what is right for Europe's future," Cameron wrote. "Now is the time to propose a candidate who will convince Europe's voters we are acting upon their concerns."

According to information obtained by EurActiv, Cameron is warming up to the idea that Juncker would become Commission President, and tries to obtain maximum powers for the British Commissioner Andrew Lansley [read more].

  • 26-27 June: EU leaders to meet for the regular summit;
  • 15 or 16 July: Possible vote in Parliament for Juncker as Commission President.


AR's picture

i am Alberto Rodrigues an economical and digital science researcher if you make a strategic calculations you will see that is much better to let Mr Juncker take the job and then you will present millions of reasons why he can not lead the European commission For this purpose is enough to see millions of problems that Luxemboug had left after more than 19 years of Mr Juncker leadership
So you can adopt a strategy to let him get the jobs and them start a mediatic ofensive Like this you will force him to resign and get more political advantages Using this strategy you will have support because at that time democracy rules will be respected and a resign procedure is something normal ut right now he can not resign because he did not get yet the jobs and any atctions which can be taken will be contrary democracy rules and you will have no enough mass ,media and political support Bacause of this you have to try to be patient until November 2014 Up them you can prepare economics arguments ,as ,alternatives for banking secrecy issues ,Pojects to reduce Luxembourg citizens panics which suposed to be done in Luxembourg since 2009 when Switzerland had been hited by a banking secrecy scandal which had destroyed his traditional banking businesses Until then everybody know that billios of euros are going out from EU economies and millions of people are loosing their jobs because banking secrecy contests and one of the person who suppose to had done what must be since 2009 ,in order to motivate investors to keep investing their money in Luxembourg , EU is the same who will lead the European Commission Apart of this despite Luxembourg is an important banking and financial market for more than 25 -35 years ,but Mr Juncker had created a University in his country just in 2004Given than know how transfer industries is the major economic domain which can help Europe Union go get a fantastic economic Growth and crete millions of well paid jobs and all this in less than 7 months you have a great argument to force him to resign but after November 2014

Eurobrat's picture

Dear Mr Cameron, your arguments fly in the face of democracy and really disappoint me from the country which I still take as a democracy champion. Let's take them one by one.

People did not know they were 'voting for Juncker'?
Mr Juncker - as well as its competitors - has been campaigning across Europe for the election. You may not have noticed it because the party that stands for you in the European Parliament decided NOT TO TAKE PART in the debates, not even nominating a possible candidate.
Also, UK electors, including your family, were deprived from viewing or listening to the debates issued by the European Broadcasting Union because major UK channels like BBC and UKIB members did not air them* !!!
It is a little bit thick to claim an election is not valid because electors in UK or in other countries did not know who they voted for. I guess a similar poll of UK electors would score low on the names of candidates elected by UKIP voters.

Juncker is not legitimate because voting turnout was low (NoA at 43%)?
Would he suggest the UK vote is not valid because turnout in UK, at 35%, was even lower than the already low EU average?
Would he dismantle the Welsh assembly where the turnout in 2011 was 42%, as low as the one for the #EP2014 elections?
Would he consider not legitimate the US congress that voted for the 2003 Irak war, because turnout in 2002 was at 41%?

Juncker is not legitimate because the deal was not explicit?
I understand many commentators, after the 2011 UK election, complained on the formation of a Conservative-LibDem government because that deal was not explicitly put forward in the campaign you led for the Tories.
According to your line of reasoning, would invalidate your own government. When voting for you in 2011, your electors did not vote for LibDem to also be in power, as this never happened before your government. So you should resign.

You quipped last week that the choice of Mr Juncker, would “push UK out of the EU”. My understanding is that with your statements, your posture of ‘us against them’, your promise for a referendum YOU are responsible for this. And I sincerely regret it as UK represents the open and liberal soul of the EU. One much needed component as many Continental Europeans retrench in a fearful withdrawal from world competition.

These are my personal views and do not represent in any views those of my employer.

*If I were a UK citizen I would formally protest for this misuse of my taxes. BBC paid for the organisation of the debate (as a UEB member), but eventually did not show it!

AR's picture


I am Alberto Rodrigues As an economic and digital science researcher i can tell you that Ukip have no brigh solutions to solve what they have been talking about
After Conservatives and Mr Cameron will suceed with this strategy they will organize know how transfer events ,which will be combined with special touristic products
By this occassion Conservatives professionals will teach world wild political leader what they can do to make a National ,extremist party to loose credibility
Given that those events will help UK create jobs in Tourism ,transport ,agriculture ,food industries,construction ,Real Estate ,research and innovation activities ,advertising ,artesanat ,ecological industry ,,commerce ,service ,entertainment,multimedia production ,digital science economy ,and dozens of some other economic activities related with those ,than Conservaties and Mr David Cameron will have a genuine study case though what they will humiliate UKIP and make evean a bling to see that UKIP have no solutions for what they had been talkng about
In a second step of this strategic plan Conservatives and Mr Cameron will implment another projects though what UK will use immigrations advantgaes get billions euros and create millions of jobs

All this and some other projects had been created by Alberto Rodrgiues an economical and digital science researcher
For more informations about them you can contact me using the following email

Because of this i will present you a strategy you can use in order to make them Ukip and his leader to loose credibility
For this purpose in the first step Conservatives can

consider that UKIP had put a diagnosis and identify serious problems which are affecting Europe Union and Great Britain As we are living in a fair play country in a world cup contests we conservatives we want to tank UKIP

for the jobs they had done and consider that they are creating a big political competition which will be usefull for UK democracy and for the benefit of the people because like this we conservatives and Labourist will work hard to find solutions to solve UK citizens problems

but this is not all because Ukip will hel us also to force the neew Bruxelles admnistrations to make radical changes

By this occasion Conservatives will agree with UKIP leader that Europe Union had different stupid rules ,ideas, projects which must be changed but in order to force them it must exist stong voices as UKIP

By this ocasion Conservatives in order to help UKIP in his mission he will present them a list of different other problems which are affecting EU people lives and economies Using this strategy British citizens will realise that EU problems are bigger than they knew up to know

Why Conservatives can use this strategy ?

If UK citizens will realize that problems are biger than what they knew when conservatives will bring solutions to solve them they will respect more the party and his leader Mr David Cameron

Because of this after Conservatives will present UKIP a big list of European Unions problems mr David Cameron will tell them

"" Okey we have a big list of grave problems which are affecting

""Now lets find solutions to solve them""

Giving that for every problem Conservatives will present in that big list we have genuine solutions which had been found by a group of international researchers ,after a certain time Conservatives and Mr Cameron will lauch a compaign inviting UKIP to bring solutions to solve the problems ,

and in the same time informing people that Conservatives professionals are workinghard in order to get viable solutions to solve refered problems and for the same purpose he want to invite UKIP and his professionals to do the same thing

Given that because of one of those problems strategics investors are leaving EU and millions of people are losing their jobs in country as ....and because of this millions of immigrants will come to Great Britain to take citizens jobs

By this occasini UKIP will be in a great dificulty

Using this strategy Conservatives and Mr David Cameron will put UKIP under pressure

Mean while Conservaties will continue with a campaign saying people that WKIP are not bringing solutions and because of this investors are leaving EU and people are loosing their jobs and because of this they will coe to Great Britain to take citizens jobs

After a certain period of compaign Conservaties will start presenting genuine solutions which are going to solve the problme and in the same time creat millions of jobs in UK

By this occasion for every separated problem Conservatives will create a separat campaign using the same strategy After just two of them dozens of millions UK electors will see that WKIP had been just talking but he have no solutions to sole problems he had been presenting

Gerry's picture

This is what we call clasping at straws, just pretending you just don't understand what's happening and cannot make any sense of it. And of course this whole 'democracy' thing is just as dangerous as hell to mr. Cameron. How much more of this kind of show do we have to endure before he will really spell out what he wants and nominate Tony Blair for the job?

an european's picture

don't know if Cameron has watched the debatesor has a TV in England but at all price Cameron is trying to breach the democracy of Europe !
the unability to accept some decision but i think we don't need this dictator in Europe dictating others for it's interests
I hope Cameron no i wish now and immediately a Brexit like never before !

an european's picture

B R E X I T N O W ! ! ! !

El Pluribus Unum

Peter van Leeuwen's picture

In 650 out of 651 constituencies, Mr Cameron wasn't on the ballot paper either, in his 2010 national elections. The popular support for his Tory party was around 30%, comparable with Juncker's EPP party in the European elections.
Spending all his capital on the EC president position will cost him in other areas, so I don't think this is such a smart move.

Iwantout's picture

True enough, although his party did stand in the other constituencies and his party members did campaign in those constituencies, he did meet the voters across the country in addition he was recognisable as one of the candidates for Prime Minister. Finally there were fundamental differences between the candidates for the PM role. Of course none of this is true for Mr Juncker (or any of the other spitzenkandidaten).

The rival candidates for the post of UK Prime Minister were standing on the basis of vote for my party and get me as PM. Under the Lisbon Treaty it is absolutely clear that we were voting for MEPs only and the European Council is the entity that would according to treaty law nominate a candidate for Commission President taking that vote “into account”. The naked power grab by the European Parliament to nominate their own candidate (from a party that lost 16.6% of its seats in the election) and then dress it up as democratic is, to put it politely, laughable.

an european's picture

@ Eurobrat already explains that issue very well !!
Thank you!

A Londoner's picture

The fundamental problem is that we British have never really appreciated that the European Project is more than a set of inter-governmental relationships. For us democracy is expressed through the Westminster Parliament. This misunderstanding has been encouraged by British euro-enthusiasts who from the very outset have refused to engage on constitutional or governance issues.

This misunderstanding is reflected in the total lack of interest in European Parliament in the UK. I watched the Spitzenkanditen interviews on cable TV but I saw no discussion of them anywhere in the UK. For us the European election was fought as a proxy for in or out. The most anti EU party got the most votes, the most pro EU party, the Liberal Democrats were thoroughly beaten whilst the Labour Party avoided any discussion of Europe.

Until now, successive British governments have muddled through sandwiched between their nation-state oriented population and continental perceptions of the Project. It is getting more difficult!

the Englishman's picture

The thing is if your EU reading diet is confined to the British Press and this Blog you can be forgiven for thinking that the UK is the only Euroskeptic country in the EU. That the population of the UK are the only population that has no interest in the EU and knows nothing of its workings. The the British Government is the only government rocking the boat.
This is far from the truth. The UK turn out was a respectable 36% while Poland was just under 23% and down to an indiffrent, 'we couldnt give a toss' 13% from Slovakia. What I think is happening is that other countries are just sitting on the side lines and letting the UK do all the shouting for them. They know that the EU needs reform but havn't got the guts to say so, and even if they do its half harted so as not to upset the Germans.

Iwantout's picture

How very true. Might I suggest Die Welt ( ). In particular the comments from German readers can be fascinating, absolutely no shortage of euroscepticism, anger with politicians who are not listening and fury with unaccountable costs. But as 'The Englishman' says, the UK is painted as the only Eurosceptic country.

EnnioBertolino's picture

Usually in democracy majority wins. Everywhere in Europe there are people blaming EU for their troubles. but in most countries euroskeptical parties reach hardly 10-20%. On the contrary in UK, if you sum Cons and UKIP, you reach 50%. That makes a lot of difference.
Please consider that many people in Europe think that EU needs to be reformed. Only most of them think that the reform needed is to introduce a democratic european power able to address and control an open market, now totally out of control. Most british (especially english) euroskepticals apparently would like to have their cake and eat it, that is have the benefits of an open market, but preventing any attempt to put it under control of a european political power, fearing a shift of power towards the continent. To be reluctant to a federal European Union is of course a totally respectable position, but you have consequently to give up the benefits of being part of European open market. This is the choice that UK seem to be reluctant to make. The result is a position more and more isolated in EU.

letsgoski's picture

Didn't the european elections in the uk coincide with the local elections there - maybe that's why your turn out was higher than in some other countreis. Not to say that the turnout level for poland was satisfactory.

What would the uk europan elections turnout be if they were held separately from the local ones? Care to comment?

an european's picture

You british ..Westminster Parliament !
We europeans Brüssels Parliament !

David Barneby's picture

This discussion is a nonsense .
Firstly , it is not at all certain that David Cameron's conservative party will win the 2015 general election .
Secondly , David Cameron does not understand the extent of reform the British people will require , in order for them to vote in a referendum to stay in the EU .

I cannot see the EU agreeing to any reforms in the next 3 years . John Major should have held a referendum before signing the Maastricht Treaty . A majority of British people do not want to be members of the EU that resulted from Maastricht , they would have voted NO then . Nothing has changed in over 20 years , only the people become ever more vocal , there are NO arguments or treaty changes that David Cameron can achieve that will get a vote to stay IN the EU . It is neither here nor there whether Juncker becomes president of the commission .

A Londoner's picture

@David Barnaby
Assuming that the Scots stay in the UK and that Cameron gets his referendum I think the UK will vote to stay in.

I suspect that the main issue will not be trade and economic benefit. The "OUT"s will be able to argue that if an agreement as deep as the TTIP can be considered between the US and the EU a deep FTA can be achieved between the UK and the EU.

The power and influence argument is more of a problem for the "OUTs". The British ruling class like to feel they can influence world events - it is a hangover from Empire- they like having a seat on the Security Council and an independent nuclear deterrent. They are supported by large part of the British public.

Here the "OUTs" will lose. The only hope is to argue (I think correctly) that influence does not translate into a higher quality of life for the British people. Unfortunately the "OUTs" will present an inconsistent line. On the one hand they will argue that Britain should have influence but on the other they will argue for less influence.

Liam Fox talks in terms of a special relationship between the UK and the US but wants the UK to exit. Given the strong support of President Obama for the UK to be in the EU this is not convincing.

I would be delighted to see Canada presented as the model for the UK. A medium sized power able to control its borders, co-operating with its larger neighbour. It is fully involved with the international community, a member of nato and the G7 but without a nuclear weapon or a seat on the Security Council. I doubt you will convince us Brits until we shed our top-table pretensions.

an european's picture

@ Londoner
In no way england will opt full in anymore but merely full out!
As stated by Cam*ron's election(2015) ref of 2017 or by electing other party as Ukipper !

EnnioBertolino's picture

I tried to search for a ballot of 2010 General Election and I noticed that Mr Cameron's name was nowhere on the ballot. Does it mean that Cameron post of Prime Minister is flawed? Or simply does he speak before thinking?

tomasipaolo's picture

So, Juncker was not in the ballot. Was Cameron in it? No.

Plus, it is a bit strange to hear these words from the prime minister of a country where:
1) the Head of State is not elected at any ballot, it is a hereditary position and there is no requirement to show any competence for the job (just look at the academic results of the progeny of the current Head of State);
2) more than half of the members of the Parliament are not elected, but nominated by the hereditary Head of State above.

And still Mr Cameron pretends to give us all a lesson on representative democracy. Brazen, really.
But in line with what I heard on the BBC from one of his fellow conservative MPs, about Juncker: "What he says is irrelevant because he is the prime minister of a microstate with a few thousand inhabitants" (Luxembourg). Since when political ideas and suitability of a candidate for a position are linked to the population or power of the country? The british empire has ceased to exist long ago, Mr Cameron.