Barnier hoisted on his own petard

Barnier hoisted on his own petard
Опубликовано: Thursday, 02 December 2021 13:44

Barnier has been heavily criticized for some of the positions he took during his campaign, with a pronounced shift to the right on migration, suggesting a full moratorium on migration from outside the EU and questioning one of the most basic tenets of the European Union, respect for the judgements of the European Courts — without which the EU, a body based on law, simply would not work.

In Brussels, Barnier’s late eurosceptic leanings were seen as a cynical volte face to win the hearts and minds of the French public — and more importantly at this stage — the votes of his own party. Perhaps the most egregious and surprising stand for someone who had served as a European Commission representative on the Convention on the Future of Europe and twice as European Commissioner was his proposals that France should regain sovereignty over certain rulings of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, a proposal that would result in the sort of cherry picking he once condemned in his British negotiating partners.

Valérie Pécresse (25% of the vote), the President of the Paris region Île-de-France, from the more liberal wing of the party and Éric Ciotti (25,59%), National Assembly member from Alpes-Maritimes, from the right of the party, will go forward to the next round. One of the other candidates, Xavier Bertrand (22,36%) has already tweeted that he will throw his weight behind Pécresse in the next round.

Advertisement

Je remercie les adhérents @lesRepublicains qui m’ont fait confiance.

Pour le second tour je voterai @vpecresse et j’appelle au rassemblement derrière elle. #CongrèsLR

— Xavier Bertrand (@xavierbertrand) December 2, 2021

Barnier, was held in high esteem by his colleagues and particularly among politicians across Europe, who were successfully cajoled throughout the long, and often tortuous, Brexit negotiations. While he was backed by a strong team of Brussels technocrats, it was Barnier who oiled the wheels and kept the Brexit negotiations on their steady course. For this Europe owes him a great deal, it would be best to remember his career without this last stanza.

Advertisement

Share this article: