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EU job shake-up to combat eurosceptics?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 02:18

May 28 - EU leaders will seek a package deal of appointments to top EU jobs with an economic agenda in an attempt to win back public confidence. But as Joanna Partridge reports overturning the massive Eurosceptic protest vote in the European Parliament elections won't be easy.

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The elections are over - the politics continues. European leaders - still digesting the shock of the voter backlash - have much to decide. Like a new president of the European Commission. SOUNDBITE: EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT, HERMAN VAN ROMPUY, SAYING (English): "The European Council is also responsible for putting forward to the parliament a candidate for president of the next commission and we must do this taking into account the election results and after consultations with the parliament." Martin Schulz, Guy Verhofstadt and Jean-Claude Juncker are the leading candidates from the three main political groups within the parliament. Former Luxembourg Prime Minister Juncker represents the largest group, the centre-right European People's Party. It won the most seats, but lacks a majority and needs support from other parties to get its candidate approved, says the centre-left's Martin Schulz. SOUNDBITE: EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT AND CENTRE-LEFT'S CANDIDATE TO LEAD EUROPEAN COMMISSION, MARTIN SCHULZ, SAYING (French): "Jean-Claude Juncker is in the lead. Whether we regret this or not, the EPP has lost 50 seats, but they are in the lead. According to the rules it should be the strongest that takes the initiative." Juncker may have a hard time convincing some European leaders he's the right man for the job. The UK, Sweden and Hungary have opposed his appointment.. They want to see a new broom to respond to voters' demands for change. As does the leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage. SOUNDBITE: LEADER OF UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY (UKIP), NIGEL FARAGE, SAYING (English): "There is a big dissident voice now in this parliament. And yet, I've just sat in a meeting where you wouldn't have thought anything had happened at all. And it was business as usual." EU leaders all agree on the need to boost Europe's economy - but they're not sure how. Just one more example of how divided they are. The British, the Dutch and Eurosceptic parties want to see less Europe. Further integration now looks less likely, even if many economists say it's needed to avoid a repeat of the debt crisis. Will Hobbs is from Barclays. SOUNDBITE: Will Hobbs, Head of Equity Strategy, Barclays, saying (English): "The European crisis will smoulder on for a while yet, there's no doubt about it, but for us, we still think that the ECB's promise to stand behind the euro zone, and in reality the lack of credible alternatives, and the weight of history, probably continue to force the project onwards." The new European Commission President faces a big challenge. They must restore voters' confidence and reconcile two competing visions - those who want more Europe and those who want less.

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EU job shake-up to combat eurosceptics?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 02:18