An Elected European President?

Earlier this month, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso called for European political parties to nominate candidates to succeed him in 2014, thereby acknowledging anew the EU's democratic deficit. Europe-wide presidential elections, would help to stem the EU's loss of its own citizens' respect and attention.

CANTERBURY – Earlier this month, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso delivered his annual State of the Union address. But, like many recent events related to European affairs, the speech received little media coverage, and went unnoticed by most Europeans.

The little attention that the speech did receive focused on Barroso’s call for “a democratic federation of nation-states.” But Barroso, who had not previously been known as a European federalist, was not merely fiddling around the edges of European law. Rather, he invoked federalism to show that European integration is already moving decisively in that direction.

More significant was Barroso’s call for European political parties to nominate candidates to succeed him in the 2014 parliamentary elections. The European Council would consider the parties’ suggestions when appointing the next Commission President.

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