The rumour mill went into overdrive that an Taoiseach Enda Kenny is tipped to take over a major position in the EU in 2014, after an article appeared in the Irish Independent this week which reported that the Taoiseach is being linked with two top positions—The European Council President and the European Commission President.
The European Council president chairs the meetings of EU leaders where all the major decisions are made, while the President of the European Commission is the head of the European Commission and is the most powerful officeholder in the EU. The European Council role will become available in December 2014 and the president will be selected directly by the 28 EU leaders. The role for President of the Commission will become available in June 2014.
Brussels based Burson-Marsteller, who specialise in Europe-wide public affairs campaigns and communications, identified Mr Kenny as a possible contender. In its Europe Decides Insight review Burson-Marsteller commented that Mr Kenny is one of the favourites as he “impressed in his handling of the EU budget negotiations.”
Burson-Marsteller also stated that: “Kenny has a good profile for the European Council job in particular – a consensus-builder from a small member state who has had some success at EU level with his successful steering of negotiations on the EU's long-term budget during the Irish Presidency.”
The Taoiseach’s parliamentary assistant, Councillor Ger Deere, said in relation to this speculation that the: “Taoiseach’s sole focus is on his current post and we don't comment on speculation. The Taoiseach is completely focused on the job in hand which is exiting the bailout and creating jobs.”