MUTANT EUROPE GROPING FOR DEFINITION.

PositionEuropean Parliament

The quick victory for Spanish Socialist Josep Borrell in the elections for President of the European Parliament has demonstrated some clarity of view within one of the EU institutions as the new Europe takes shape. But 259 didnt vote for him.

And many voted for him only on the understanding he will be replaced after twoand-a-half years by the heir-apparent from the opposing EPP-ED, in the backroom deal sealed between the EPs two biggest groups.

The EPs third-biggest group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, was quick to condemn this ounnatural allianceo that thwarted the chances of its own candidate, Bronislaw Geremek of Poland.

But the jockeying for position in the Parliament pales into insignificance compared to the complex lobbying now going on over the composition of the new 25-member Commission that will take up office on November 1.

Even before the Commission President-designate has been confirmed, Member States are battling fiercely over who should get what in the impending carve-up of top jobs. Germanys naked bid to push Gunter Verheugen into the new role of super-Commissioner for economic and industry affairs is being matched by Frances efforts to avert challenges to its national champions -by assuring French stewardship of the competition portfolio.

The discussions over the future Commission are harshly backlit by this weeks Commission decision to...

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