It is will-he? won't-he? time at the European Economic and Social Committee, where Group I – comprising representatives of the employers' organisations – has scheduled extremely early elections. On 11 July, the group will choose its candidate for the EESC presidency (it's Group I's turn to put up a candidate next) and to elect the next president of the group. But the current EESC president, Staffan Nilsson, a Swedish farmer, from Group III, still has nine months of his presidential term to run.
So what's the hurry? Could it be that Henri Malosse, the current Group I president, is afraid of having the ultimate prize snatched from him? He faces a challenge from Philippe de Buck, a Belgian member of the EESC, who is currently director-general of BusinessEurope (he steps down next January). De Buck joined the EESC in December, but is already well connected, and probably better known to MEPs and European commissioners than Malosse.
An early election might just be Malosse's way of seeing off de Buck's challenge before he has his feet under the EESC table.