• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'We talked policy, not people': Cameron

The Local · 10 Jun 2014, 11:10

Published: 10 Jun 2014 11:10 GMT+02:00

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte have been in Sweden since Monday, meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at his Harpsund summer residence.
 
On Tuesday morning at a closing press conference, the four explained that the talks had  centred on the future of Europe, particularly jobs and growth.
 
When the microphone was handed to reporters, Cameron was probed about whether the foursome had discussed Jean-Claude Juncker, the European People's Party's (EPP) pick to take the job as the next European Commission president.
 
Both Cameron and Reinfeldt are opposed to the Spitzenkandidat nomination process, which would automatically make Juncker Commission president by virtue of him being the candidate selected prior to the last month's elections by the EPP, the group that ended up winning most seats. 
 
There have been whispers, especially in Sweden, that Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt could in fact be the best man for the job.
 
However, Cameron put an abrupt stop to the speculation
 
"We have been talking about policies, not people," he told reporters.
 
 
Merkel, meanwhile, appeared open to candidates other than Juncker when asked by reporters. 
 
"Questions about personnel were not the emphasis of our discussions," Merkel said. "We wanted to focus on what has been talked about so little – the content [of what the EU Commission will do]."
 
She lightly endorsed Juncker once again but stressed he was not the focus of their talks. 
 
"The council knows it needs the agreement of the Parliament," she said. "If we are clever we respect the different institutions."  
 
She said candidate names would be discussed over June and didn’t put a time frame on when the next EC president would be named. 
 
Asked about Cameron’s reported threat that giving Juncker the job would force the UK to leave the EU, Merkel said discussions were held in a "European spirit". 
 
"Threats are not part of that," she said.
 
The four politicians, all leading countries that rank among the most competitive in Europe, took the chance to praise a productive evening of discussion. 
 
"The Harpsund meeting is taking place at a time when the European Union is slowly coming out of the crisis and facing major institutional changes," Reinfeldt said.
 
"It's about how the European Union can adapt to a changing global economy."
 
He added that the four heads discussed the creation of jobs in the EU, and how the change in the global economy required reform and an adapting of industries, labour markets, and innovation capacity. He also mentioned that the EU budget was high on the agenda.
Story continues below…
 
"We agreed on the necessity to take action to abolish remaining barriers on the internal market, and to already now start discussions with all member states on how to reform the next EU budget."
 
The Swedish prime minister also echoed the sentiments of Merkel and Cameron in that discussions were focused on policy rather than people.
 
"We have agreed that the future policy priorities of the EU must be decided before we can decide on appointments of different top jobs," he told reporters.
 
 
 
 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Missing Swedish billionaire found dead
In the early 1980s, Ericsson was known as the ’Golden boy’ of the west coast. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Swedish entrepreneur and billionaire Christer Ericsson, who went missing during a fishing trip two months ago, has been found dead on the west coast.

Sweden Democrats try to woo pensioners
The party says the minimum pension ought to be raised by 10 percent. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Sweden’s far-right party on Saturday vowed to fight for the elderly, saying it will only support a government that is prepared to significantly hike pensions for those who struggle financially.

Swedish hikers found after missing for six days
The only trace is currently a mobile phone found in the area and which is believed to belong to one of the men. Photo: Henrik Montgomery /TT

Swedish police on Saturday found two elderly hikers who went missing in the Abisko mountain range six days ago.

Winds leave thousands of Swedes without power
The winds are also expected to blow away the warm weather that the Swedes have been blessed with in the past few days. Photo: Peter Arwidi / TT file picture

Strong gusts, forecast to reach up to 21 metres per hour, left thousands of people without power in Sweden’s northern regions on Saturday.

Migration agency ’to get rid of LGBT experts’
Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

An internal report looking at ways to make Sweden’s Migration Agency more efficient has proposed the agency gets rid of specialists dedicated to LGBT-related issues. The move has prompted the country’s main gay rights group to see red.

Sweden's Spotify hits 39 million subscribers
Spotify is gaining listeners. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Spotify has grown by nine million paying subscribers in five months, fending off competition from rivals.

Prosecutor wants asylum stabber convicted of murder
Prosecutor Linda Wiking. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The man was convicted of aggravated manslaughter for stabbing a worker to death at a home for young refugees in Sweden.

Old Swedish cash worth billions still in circulation
Old Swedish money. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Hand in your invalid Swedish bills to the bank by the end of the month.

Sweden moves to battle high rate of drug deaths
Sweden has among Europe's highest drug-induced mortality rates. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB/TT

Sweden has among the highest number of drug-related deaths in the EU despite its zero-tolerance policy. The government wants to find out why.

Human skeleton found on abandoned farm in Sweden
Police at the farm in Hörby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect human remains found in a well on an abandoned farm in rural Sweden belonged to a man who was murdered.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
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
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,335
jobs available