Left to back Juncker in exchange for high EU posts - Czech PM


21.06.2014 15:00

Paris/Prague - The EU leftist governments´ heads will back Jean Claude Juncker´s (EPP) nomination for EC president, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka said after their Paris meeting today, adding that the left will seek the seat of EP head and a significant representation in the EU in exchange.


Francouzský premiér Manuel Valls (vlevo) a jeho český protějšek Bohuslav Sobotka. ČTK/AP Remy de la Mauviniere

Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) told CTK by phone that he expects the forthcoming EU summit to propose Juncker, former long-standing Luxembourg prime minister, for successor to outgoing EC president Jose Manuel Barroso.

"I think it would be a big surprise if Jean-Claude Juncker were not the candidate the European Council will propose to the European Parliament," Sobotka said.

"If a representative of the European People´s Party (EPP) were to head the EC, it is important that social democrats become visibly represented in other EU institutions. We want a balanced representation of the social democrats and the People´s Party in the EU´s crucial positions," Sobotka said after meeting French President Francois Hollande and several EU countries´ left-wing prime ministers.

"In a discussion we will seek a visible representation in the EC for the social democrats, and also for women, and the post of EP president for a social democrat in the first part of the election term," Sobotka said.

Outgoing EP President Martin Schulz is the hot candidate for the post in the new period, Sobotka said.

Apart from Hollande, Sobotka and Schulz, today´s informal meeting was attended by the prime ministers of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Malta, Romania and Slovakia - Werner Faymann, Elio di Rupo, Selle Thorning-Schmidt, Matteo Renzi, Joseph Muscat, Victor Ponta and Robert Fico.

Vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel represented Germany at the meeting.

According to Sobotka, they agreed to seek the quickest possible choice of the candidate for EC president.

"Europe´s social democrat prime ministers will strive for the decision to be made next week [at the Brussels summit]," Sobotka said.

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