• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Merkel alone in Juncker camp at Sweden summit

AFP · 9 Jun 2014, 21:47

Published: 09 Jun 2014 21:47 GMT+02:00

In one of the strongest shows of support for the British position to-date, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt dismissed the idea of a stronger role for the European Parliament, which would favour Juncker's nomination, in deciding who should get the EU's top job.

"We in principle dislike the idea of presenting front-runners from the different parties because we think that twists the balance between the institutions and the way that the Lisbon treaty is set up," he said, referring to the EU's constitutional rules.

Juncker is the chosen candidate of the conservative European People's Party grouping, which topped the recent EU elections.

But previous selections have been made by heads of state from the EU's 28 members, and there is resistance to letting the European Parliament decide.

Reinfeldt said more discussions were needed on the future role of the EU Commission before looking at names.

Sunday's mini-summit an hour outside Stockholm brought together the leaders of Britain, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands -- all of whom "want to see an EU that is more open, more competitive, more flexible, one that does less political interference but also is effective in helping to get growth and jobs," Cameron said.

"As democratically elected leaders of Europe we should be the ones who choose who should run this EU institution, rather than accept some new process which was never agreed," Cameron said.

The traditional process of appointing the EU Commission president has been criticised for lacking transparency or public support. Proponents of greater European integration have sought to link the Commission presidency to the European Parliament elections.

Juncker, a former prime minister of Luxembourg, has faced strong opposition to his bid, with some EU members seeing him as a die-hard federalist who will fail to make radical reforms at a time when many voters are losing faith in EU institutions.

Cameron, who is pushing for reform to allow greater autonomy for members ahead of a referendum on Britain's membership in 2017, has been among the most vocal.

Juncker is seen as favouring even greater integration between EU members, and thus presents a barrier to Cameron's plans.

Story continues below…

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has opposed Juncker's candidacy for similar reasons.

But Juncker has gained the backing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has said she would hold to that position if the issue came up at the meeting, according to Swedish news agency TT.

Rutte told reporters that it was premature to put forward names for the successor of Jose Manuel Barroso at the head of the Commission.

"My belief is that we should first focus on content, discuss what the new Commission should do... then discuss who fits that profile."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Nepal's Sherpas rebuild Swedish mountain paths
Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain. Photo: Stockholms Universitet

Nepalese sherpas have been called in to improve hillwalking safety on Sweden's highest mountain Kebnekaise.

23 people tricked into renting the same Malmö apartment
Sweden's housing market is notoriously tricky. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

"I have never felt so stupid and so conned."

Sweden on standby to help earthquake-hit Italy
Rescue workers search through the debris. Photo: AP Photo/Sandro Perozzi

Swedish authorities are ready, if asked, to quickly assist Italy as it recovers from a deadly earthquake.

We harmed Sweden's teachers and should apologize: prof
A tired pupil at a school in Stockholm. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

"The situation is very worrying," says Professor Jonas Linderoth.

US keeper kicked off team for calling Swedes cowards
Hope Solo made her comments after Sweden knocked the US team out of the Olympics. Photo: Eugenio Savio/AP

The US team will be Hope-less for six months.

Five must-see cultural events in Sweden this weekend
Like The Bridge? You'll love one of the events we've picked out for this weekend. Photo: Erland Vinberg/TT

The summer is almost over but Sweden saved the best for last with these cultural events this weekend – including one that will make The Bridge fans happy.

Was there a secret plot to kill Swedish ex-UN chief?
Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN's Secretary General, pictured months before his death in 1961. Photo: TT

Ban Ki-moon wants to find out.

Joe Biden to arrive in Sweden for refugee talks
Stefan Löfven meets Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in March 2015. Photo: Monica Enqvist/Government Offices of Sweden

US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Stockholm on Wednesday evening ahead of talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that are expected to focus on migration and refugees.

Boy who attacked goalkeeper 'bet thousands' on game
Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

A 17-year-old boy who stormed the pitch and attacked a goalkeeper in Sweden’s top division earlier this month has claimed he had placed a large bet on the result.

Furious fireman lashes out at Malmö car arsonists
Firefighters battle a blaze in Malmö earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A fireman in Malmö has won praise across Sweden for calling out arsonists on the “bullshit” reasons behind a spate of car fires in the southern city.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,361
jobs available