Institutions: Barroso takes advantage of the crisis
19 July 2012
Barroso “is among those who benefit from the financial crisis in Europe,” says Der Spiegel –
It has steadily increased his power. [...] Barroso came across as a secondary player, but now he is increasingly developing into an equal.
So far, reports the German weekly, the President of the European Commission has had a reputation as a man who avoids a conflict, and he has been struggling to assert his authority with European leaders. Der Spiegel even wrote that in the European Councils, he resembled a grandfather who –
... waxes lyrical over his photos of Alpine wildflowers, (while) the rest of the family reaches for snacks and hopes the show will soon end.
Yet at the last Council, on 28 and 29 June, something changed, writes the Brussels correspondent of the German weekly –
When some European leaders raised objections to the fiscal policy recommendations from Brussels, the Commission president fired back. He reminded those assembled that they were the ones who had given the Commission the right to set parameters for national governments. It didn't make any difference to him if they continued to play their little tactical games, he said, noting that he would prefer to stick to facts. And then Barroso said heatedly: ‘If the European Council doesn't sign off on these recommendations, we'll have a serious problem.’ The European leaders were shocked. Was that really Barroso speaking? It certainly wasn't the Barroso they'd grown accustomed to.
In addition, Spiegel notes that the decisions taken at this summit to make “more Europe” a major goal will primarily benefit the President of the Commission. Should we be surprised? His mother's maiden name, the weekly recalls, was “Durão” – the robust.