David Cameron has penned a stinging attack on Jean-Claude Juncker’s bid for the presidency of the European Commission, accusing the former Luxembourg leader of attempting “a power grab through the back door”.
In an article, which appears in newspapers across the EU this morning, the Prime Minister makes clear that Juncker’s case for election, and the support he has enjoyed from some EU member states, is undemocratic.
“Those who voted [in the EU elections] did so to choose their MEP, not the commission president. Juncker did not stand anywhere and was not elected by anyone,” the PM writes. “To accept such a claim would be deeply damaging for Europe and would undermine, rather than strengthen, the EU's democratic legitimacy.”
The row over so-called leading candidates like Juncker – those put forward by the main EU political groups – has caused friction between close political allies Cameron and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Relations between the pair may have soured further yesterday after the Conservatives were outvoted in a bid to block eurosceptic German party the Alternative for Germany, a rival of Merkel’s CDU party, from joining their European Conservatives and Reformists group in the EU parliament.