Former Portuguese Prime Minister, Durão Barroso, has sought to restore what he calls the European Commission’s ‘capacity for leadership’. The newly appointed EU Commission President, due to take over from Romano Prodi on November 1, says the institution should remain ‘independent’ and ‘strong’.
According to Vale de Almeida, the head of Barroso’s transitional team, one of the more important challenges that Barroso will face is competition from other European institutions and other member states. Vale de Almeida said that Barroso wanted “an independent, credible and strong” Commission, but he refused to make a comparison with the current team led by Romano Prodi, stating that the loss of the institution’s prestige started before Prodi came to power.
Barroso is apparently keen to adopt the so-called ‘Lisbon Strategy’ of economic development as his top priority for the next five years. The document, approved during the Portuguese presidency of the European Union in 2000, defined various ways to make the EU economy the strongest in the world. In particular, it highlighted economic growth as the spearhead of greater prosperity.