The European Parliament needs to produce a majority in 2009 because there are “so many reasons for change,” writes Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the Party of European Socialists (PES), in a post on Blogactiv.
The new Parliament will have a “much more decisive role” in determining who will be Commission president, explains Rasmussen. He suggests that many in the EU assembly “are in the mood to reject Barroso,” adding that his own parliamentary party, the PES, does not support the Portuguese.
The former Danish prime minister argues that the political response to the crisis has created a “much wider and deeper gulf between progressives and conservatives”. He says the PES response to the crisis is “very different from the lack of action from the conservatives”.
Rasmussen also suggests that Europeans “simply need a new leadership and better management of the crisis”.
For all these reasons, “a new majority is firmly on the table,” says the socialist, before warning that one must wait to see “how the numbers stack up after the elections” before predicting the composition of the future Parliament.
Rasmussen said it also remained to be seen who would leave the conservative group along with the British and Czech conservatives, “and if others in addition to the Italian Democrats come into our tent”.
The PES leader pointed to the nervousness of his opponents, observing that current Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering, a conservative, wanted to put the new Commission president to vote “as early as July”.