Barroso: Britain’s Influence in the EU Has Lessened

Written by | Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Former EU Commission chief, Jose Manuel Barroso, thinks that the influence of the United Kingdom on EU matters has weakened to a point when the country lost its important status as a mediator between the United States and Europe. Mr Barroso also warned that a British decision to leave the block would be “a real mistake from all points of view” censuring a “defensive agenda” of the British government. The former president of the Commission moreover expressed his dismay at increasingly peevish relations that British Prime Minister, David Cameron, is pursuing with European allies.

In Mr Barroso’s opinion, David Cameron is a very pragmatic leader who wants to protect the interests of his country just like any other prime minister would do. However, Tony Blair “was really playing a very important role in the European Union” he reminded. When describing the strategic importance of the United Kingdom for the relations between Europe and the United States, Mr Barroso commented that “I think it’s a matter for reflection: the American president, if he wants to get European countries on board, I think the first call he makes is to the chancellor of Germany, no longer to the British prime minister, and this is new.”

David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on UK membership in the EU in 2017 if his party wins the general election in May. Former EU Commission president, however, thinks that such “aggressive rhetoric” could cause “real damage”. Mr Barroso also blamed Britain’s incumbent prime minister for the lack of positive EU agenda saying that Mr Cameron could have the potential to be much more instrumental in deepening the European integration if he was “concentrating on a positive agenda”.

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