ER Editor: See also Merkel & Macron lock horns over how to decide next president of EU Commission (VIDEO), and this from Sputnik News, Macron: Failure to Choose EU Chiefs Result of Divisions Within Bloc.
Today is the third day where the EU tries to get itself new leadership, the biggest difficulty being to replace outgoing President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Manfred Weber (right of Juncker in featured image), Merkel’s stooge, seems to be the likely choice, but Macron is certainly campaigning against him and possibly against the dominant party he represents, the EPP (right-of-centre European People’s Party).
We offer these update stories from today: EU leaders reconvene to resolve top jobs impasse:
Much of the impasse is centered on picking a nominee to succeed Juncker, who heads the EU’s powerful executive arm. The leaders also hope to name a new European Council president as well as a foreign policy chief.
This requires the approval of 21 of the 28 EU leaders, representing 65% of the bloc’s population. The top job nominations must also have a geographical and gender balance that represents both the smaller and larger member states.
The centre-right European People’s Party, the relative winner of the EU elections, is now ready to sacrifice the much-debated Spitzenkandidaten process, and with it its lead candidate Manfred Weber, as long as it gets the European Commission presidency, EURACTIV has learnt.
At a meeting of the EPP group in the European Parliament, sources said that conservative lawmakers agreed that socialist Frans Timmermans (far right of featured image) should in no way become the next EU Commission chief, even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel had agreed to it as part of a broader package deal with other political families.
“EPP lawmakers could reconsider their opinion on the Spitzenkandidaten process as long as they get the presidency of the EU executive,” a source said.
EURACTIV understands that in such a scenario, the name of Michel Barnier (centre in featured image) is likely to reappear and that Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Renew Europe political group is supportive of Barnier’s appointment. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras said last week he would support “any moderate candidate who has not offended the people of Europe’s south like Weber did.
And for additional commentary from Zerohedge, In Unprecedented Blow To Lame Duck Merkel, Partners Reject “Half Baked” Socialist For Top EU Job.
Macron bemoans ‘failure’ of EU leadership all-night summit, while Merkel urges patience
After more than 18 hours of negotiations, leaders of the EU’s 28 member-states were unable to select the next leadership for the bloc.
Up for grabs at the Brussels pow-wow are the presidencies of the EU Commission, the European Parliament, the European Council of EU governments, the EU’s foreign policy chief and the head of the European Central Bank, which governs the euro currency.
The deadlock proved to be particularly frustrating for the French president, who told reporters that the summit’s “failure” portrays “a very bad image for both the [European] Council and for Europe.”
Macron said “personal ambitions” were preventing a deal from being reached.
His German counterpart was less eager to broadcast her disappointment, but said that the summit failed as a result of “big member states that couldn’t live … with the proposals we had today.”
Merkel stressed, however, that pushing through a half-baked agreement could result in living with “insurmountable tensions in the European Council for five years.”
She said that instead of “rushing things,” it was better for EU leaders to “sleep on it for one night, and look again to see whether there is a new point of view.”
Even if a deal is reached, the grueling summit has apparently left Macron deeply displeased. The French president told reporters that the experience has convinced him that “deep changes” are needed in how the EU’s institutions operate.
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