Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Dutch PM Balkenende to become European Commission President instead of Barroso?

Le Monde spreads the rumour that Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende might become European Commission President instead of Barroso.

I never really believe those political rumours, but this is the first good news since the starting of Anyone but Barroso!.


Erik Wesselius said...

As a Dutch citizen having to live with this lousy prime minister for almost seven years, I cannot take this rumour serious.

I support "Anyone but Barroso", but certainly Balkenende would not be any better than Barroso.

Like Barroso and Blair, Balkenende has been one of the most reliable Western-European allies of George W. Bush in his war on Iraq.

Today, Balkenende is under increasing political pressure in the Netherlands over his longstanding refusal to allow a parliamentary investigation of the Dutch involvement in the Iraq war (which happened under the first Balkenende government).

Balkenende gave a press conference yesterday to announce an indepedent research group to investigate Dutch involvement in Iraq. But this has only strenghtened the calls for a parliamentary investigation.

(See for example Dutch PM agrees to Iraq inquiry, Radio Netherlands Worldwide News, 02-02-2009.)

Under these circumstances Balkenende seems a very unlikely candidate to become the President of the European Commission.

Julien Frisch said...


I must admit that I am not the biggest follower of Dutch national politics (apart from certain visible issues); so I believe your assessment.

Nevertheless, the fact that there are any rumours around the EC President's post is a good sign, because this means that Barroso is not 100% secure in his chair.

And everything <100% leaves some hope... ;-)