Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt will host Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s David Cameron and Dutch premier Mark Rutte at his private residence over two days to discuss reforming the EU and ”achieving a more efficient EU that is focused on creating jobs and growth”.
After EU elections delivered strong returns for far-right and far-left parties, EU leaders say they have recognized the need to refocus on what matters to their people. But at the same time, the orthodox camp is determined to keep bearing down on debt and the bloc’s heads are arguing over who should take the top jobs in Brussels which set the tone.
Cameron is publicly opposed to Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker, who he regards as an arch federalist, becoming European Commission President though as the candidate for the centre-right EPP group of parties which came top in the election he is in pole position.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde, who would have been favoured by Britain, ruled herself out of the running on Friday.
Both Rutte and Reinfeldt are believed to harbour doubts about Junker too but Cameron is struggling to build a blocking minority. The man who could tip the balance is Italy’s Matteo Renzi, travelling in Vietnam and China this week.
Cameron faces another headache. His pulled his Conservative members of the European Parliament out of the EPP group because it was too much in favour of further EU integration and set up his own group, which has quietly welcomed in the anti-euro True Finns and the far-right anti-immigration Danish People’s Party into the fold.