Jose Manuel Barroso has won the support he needed from the European Parliament to serve another five years as the president of the powerful European Commission.
The decision was put to a secret electronic vote, in Strasbourg. The Portuguese former prime minister got 382 votes in his favour. There were 219 against him, and 117 abstentions. Of the assembly’s 736 members, 718 were there to take part in the vote.
Under EU rules, the leaders of the bloc’s 27 countries designate someone for the post, and the European Parliament may endorse that or torpedo it.
The Commission drafts laws and, once they are negotiated and approved, is responsible for seeing that the EU countries carry them out.
Barroso said: “To all members of this house: (it is) my sincere determination to work closely with you during the next 5 years so that we can build a stronger european parliamentary democracy.”
Among his policy priorities, Barroso has promised to preserve Europe’s social democratic values, and consult the European Parliament more.