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18 June 2014

Graham Bishop's Blog: Juncker well on the way to Presidency but… not there yet!

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Today’s lunch between Italian Prime Minster Renzi and Council President van Rompuy will mark another major step towards the European Council’s nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker. However, there is a critical policy issue that must be resolved before he will get the support of the S&D Group in the EP.

The key is the difference in policy on public debt between the EPP Group and the Socialists – a group that includes 29 Italian members from Renzi’s party.  The S&D support for Juncker remains strictly conditional on “a more flexible interpretation of the Stability and Growth Pact." – code for more public debt. According to Paola Buonadonna’s story this morning (link), this is also a major requirement of PM Renzi.

But the EPP manifesto absolutely rejected taking on more public debt and, indeed, remains committed to a reduction in debt. Presumably Mr Juncker feels bound by the EPP manifesto that he championed in the election. If the two groups cannot build a `coalition agreement’ on this very fundamental policy disagreement, Mr Juncker could struggle to get the necessary 376 votes in the European Parliament. Financial markets will take a very keen interest in the outcome of this particular debate.

Graham Bishop - Consultant on EU Integration - Political, Financial, Economic, Budgetary

Rolling blog

© Graham Bishop

Documents associated with this article

Juncker well on the way to Presidency but not there yet.pdf

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