Cameron, van Rompuy to meet over Juncker

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IOL pic mar4 britain cameron Reuters British Prime Minister David Cameron. File picture: Suzanne Plunkett

London - David Cameron will meet EU President Herman van Rompuy Monday as the British prime minister battles to stop Jean-Claude Juncker from becoming head of the European Commission, Downing Street said Friday.

Juncker - who is supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European People's Party, the European Parliament's largest grouping - looks on course to be confirmed as successor to Jose Manuel Barroso as head of the powerful EU executive.

With the issue causing serious tensions in Europe a month after elections which saw major gains for anti-EU parties, Cameron vowed this week to oppose Juncker “right until the end”.

The British leader sees Juncker, a former prime minister of Luxembourg, as a federalist who will not adopt the reforms London says are needed in the 28-member bloc.

“The prime minister will meet with the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, on Monday afternoon at 10 Downing St,” a spokesman said.

“The prime minister will underline UK opposition - shared across all three main political parties - to the appointment of Jean Claude Juncker and our concerns about the 'Spitzenkandidaten' process.”

This process sees the candidate of the biggest party grouping in the European Parliament become European Commission president.

It is seen as the most democratic option by many in Brussels despite London's opposition.

The European Commission leadership is likely to be high on the agenda at a European Council meeting on June 26 and 27 in Brussels and a mini-summit of European centre-left leaders in Paris this weekend.

Cameron has promised a referendum by 2017 on whether Britain should stay in the European Union, as long as his centre-right Conservative party stays in power beyond next year's general election.

Sapa-AFP


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