• 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
Swedes shell out for season's first lobster
Meet Pontus Johansson and his lobster. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Best not to look at the price tag.

Witnesses 'afraid to talk' to police about Malmö shooting
Police investigating the shooting in Malmö. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Police are appealing for witnesses to a shooting which killed a man and injured three in a residential street of Malmö – but it is an uphill battle.

Opinion
Swedish leaders need to be prepared for tech challenges
Will robots take over your jobs? Photo: Eric Piermont/AP

Will your job still exist in ten years' time? How will society and businesses adapt to the advancements that are on their way?

Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape'
Tech star Tayyab Shabab, who is being threatened with deportation. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish politicians are keen to talk up the country's startups – but their migration rules threaten to strangle them, argues The Local's managing editor James Savage.

Startup heavyweights back tech ace told to leave Sweden
Spotify founder Daniel Ek is one of the big tech names backing Tayyab Shabab (right). Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/SvD/TT & personal

Major names in the tech community have rallied behind a developer who was told he must leave Sweden within a month due to an admin error made by his former employer.

Why Sweden could deport hundreds of refugee children
A home for lone refugee children in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Several hundred lone refugee children could now be sent home from Sweden due to a change in how the rule on exceptional circumstances is applied when making asylum decisions.

Rare and horny ox spotted looking for ladies in Sweden
The ox in question. Photo: Pia Jäderberg

Unfortunately he isn't likely to be successful.

Russian bombers spook Sweden-bound flight
A Russian Tupolev bomber not related to the story. Photo: STR/TT

A flight bound for Stockholm from Reykjavik got a nasty surprise last week when its pilot spotted two Russian bombers from his window.

One dead after Malmö drive-by shooting
Police cars outside the hospital where some of the people shot were taken. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

UPDATED: One of the four men injured in a drive-by shooting in Malmö has died, police confirmed on Monday.

In pictures
How a Swedish hotel reunited this bear with his best friend
The bear having a croissant for breakfast. Photo: Kristoffer Kinnunen/Hotel Avalon

A Gothenburg hotel's attempt to track down the owner of this lost teddy bear turned into something much bigger.

Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Blog updates

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 

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 »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
Gallery
People-watching: September 9th-11th
The Local Voices
Shakib, 23, works and pays taxes — but will Sweden let him stay?
National
Watch this Swede roll his kayak without spilling his beer. Respect.
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,962
jobs available