The European Parliament has approved the candidacy of Jose Manuel Barroso for President of the European Commission. 382 MEPs voted for, 219 against, and 117 sustained. There were minor technical difficulties with the voting equipment before the vote.
The debate on 15 September revealed strong divisions among MEPs about the Barroso candidature (you can see the video here). Mr. Barroso answered critics by saying:
“If you want a strong Commission, that has the rights and initiative to defend the European interest, at least give me the benefit of the doubt.”
The leader of the Socialist and Democrats group, Martin Schulz, responded that:
“He[Mr. Barroso] is an excellent advocate for the interests of the Council.”
The main argument, it appears, remains the independence of the Commission itself. Now Mr. Barroso has a new mandate to disprove such allegations.