Merkel urged to drop Juncker bid

British PM David Cameron will get backing from his Swedish counterpart, Fredrik Reinfeldt, today as he urges German Chancellor Angela Merkel to drop her support for Jean-Claude Juncker as the next head of the European Commission.

Merkel urged to drop Juncker bid

The three will meet along with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands at Reinfeldt’s summer retreat in Harpsund, Sweden. Reinfeldt signalled his opposition to Juncker’s candidacy in an interview with the Financial Times, in which he questioned one of the arguments used by supporters of the former Luxembourg prime minister.

Juncker has said he should get the job on the basis that he’s the candidate of the European People’s Party, the group of national political parties that won most seats in the European Parliament elections last month. Reinfeldt disputed whether that’s the right way to choose a Commission president.

“We do not support the idea because it would make it impossible for any other candidate and rule out a lot of possible potential commission presidents,” Reinfeldt was cited as telling the FT.

Juncker was an architect of the euro in the 1990s and its defence during the debt crisis. Cameron has argued that the next commission president should be someone who “is about openness, competitiveness and flexibility, and not about the past”.

Such a person would make it easier for him to achieve his goal of renegotiating the terms of the UK’s European Union membership before a referendum in 2017. Cameron says the EU needs to focus on lowering trade barriers and increasing competitiveness, rather than tighter integration.

Last week Merkel reiterated her backing for Juncker.

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