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EU Leaders Pick Next Commission President

29 June 2004 -- European Union leaders reportedly nominated Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso to be the new president of the bloc's executive commission at a special summit in Brussels today.

The European Parliament will hold a vote to endorse the leaders' choice in a vote on 21 or 22 July, after Barroso outlines his planned policies.

Barroso, a conservative politician, would take over from Italian Romano Prodi on 1 November.

EU leaders today also reappointed Spaniard Javier Solana as EU foreign-policy chief, a post he has held for the last five years.

If the EU's constitutional treaty, agreed earlier this month by the bloc's leaders, is ratified by all 25 EU member states, Solana will become the EU's first union foreign minister, probably from 2007.