Recently Jean-Claude Juncker was officially elected
President of the European Commission. One year before the European
Elections were scheduled, even the most fanatical
federalist did not believe that
the Primaries could really nominate
the EU chief executive. It's paradoxical, but even after
the European elections of 25 May 2014,
chances were over
50% for the winner to take
After a series of disagreements, focusing more on "ideological
pride" than actual
system failure, finally
the decision was made: “there will be primary
elections for appointing candidates
for the presidency of the European
Commission in 2014”.
Controversy existed over the years in
Europe on primary elections, but the efforts of those involved have not been in
vain, and in June 2013, at the Council of the Party of European Socialists in Sofia (21-22 June 2013), PES announced
their proposal for the Commission Presidency candidate 2014: Martin Schulz.
In fact, much has been said about
the primary election at the meetings of European Socialists, but in
reality there was only one candidate from the very beginning, without European
citizens or Left activists
having a say.
Representing the European Liberals,
according to an internal agreement and
without organizing an impactful primary election, Guy Verhofstadt was
proposed to be the candidate for President
of the Commission, while party colleague
Olli Rehn was
positioned to one of the other EU leadership positions.
Traditionally two people, José Bové and Ska Keller, led the European Green Party campaign for the European elections in May,
after they won the "on-line primaries".
Even if they were the most democratic
elections from the all European parties, the Greens failed to mobilize
voters. In the end only a few tens
of thousands of people participating in
Alexis Tsipras was
assured of the nomination for
the European radical left.
Aware of its potential, the European People's Party (EPP) did not enter the
primary election game,
but they mentioned that a candidate would be chosen at their congress on 6-7 March 2014, in Dublin.
Without much glory, and of course without
any impact on European citizens, Jean-Claude
Juncker wins a battle with a candidate without any chance of nomination, even
by France, Michel Barnier.
In this context the
vision of the leader from Berlin should
be mentioned. The idea of primary
elections was strengthened when Angela Merkel entered “the
nominations game”. We even witnessed a
European paradox. Angela Merkel apparently
supported the nomination for the position of President of the European Commission
of the German Martin
Schulz, as well as of Jean-Claude Juncker. Given that Germany has a
grand coalition with CDU and SPD in power, Merkel
supported the nomination
of Schulz as European
Commission President from Germany.
On the other hand, from a party point,
the European People's Party, where
Ms Merkel's CDU
is part of, has been open for a
nomination battle. The German Chancellor has
made her support for Jean-Claude
Juncker public only a few days before the EPP Congress
in Dublin (6 to 7 March 2014), and few days later
it became the official candidate of the
EPP - the first real sign that the primaries
can really "produce"
the next president of the European
Dan LUCA /