EU Presidency: David Cameron in last-ditch bid to block Jean-Claude Juncker
Sunday 08 June 2014
David Cameron will fly to Sweden on Monday in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the appointment of Luxembourg’s former Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU President.
He will meet the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and try to persuade her that Juncker is the wrong man for the job because British officials suspect he is one of a diminishing number of politicians who still believe in the concept of a United States of Europe.
Mr Cameron has promised that if he is returned to government next year, he will secure reforms within the EU and then put Britain’s continued membership to a referendum – but he fears he will get little co-operation from the EU if Juncker is at its head.
The Foreign Secretary indicated that failing to get the "right people" in the EU's top jobs would make it harder to renegotiate the UK's relationship with Brussels ahead of the in/out referendum promised by the Tories by the end of 2017.
Mr Hague acknowledged the UK could not veto Mr Juncker taking on the role, but the Government was attaching "great importance" to making sure that reformers took senior posts in Europe.
He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "On the technical question of veto, this is now decided by majority voting in the European Union, taking into account the wishes of the European Parliament.
"But it's very important in our view that a range of candidates are looked at. This is only one of the top jobs being decided now in the European Union, there are four or five such jobs and it's very important there is a political balance, there's a geographic balance, it's important there are women in there in the top jobs in the European Union."
He added: "The important thing, and we haven't decided on the personalities of this yet, but the important thing is that the European Union is focused on reform, it's focused on change, it's not going to deliver what the people of any European country need if it carries on with just business as usual.
"The point that the Prime Minister has been making, that I have been making, is that the people who are chosen to lead the commission, the council, have to be chosen with that in mind."
Mr Cameron will travel to Sweden tomorrow for talks with the country's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte and Mrs Merkel on reforms in Europe, with the candidates for the commission and its presidency also expected to be on the agenda.
Read more: Who will be the next leader of Europe?
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Leonard Nimoy dead: Star Trek Spock actor dies after suffering lung disease
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...