EU Fee: France and Germany differ on Brussels’ prime job

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker arrives at a European PeoplePicture copyright

Picture caption

EU Fee President Jean-Claude Juncker is a type of whose job is up for grabs

Indicators of disagreement have emerged between France and Germany as EU leaders meet following elections that shifted the stability in parliament.

The talks are an opportunity to evaluate the brand new political panorama and contemplate candidates for the EU’s prime jobs.

However the leaders of France and Germany have already instructed completely different figures to take over the important thing position of EU Fee president.

The vote noticed the large centrist blocs lose their majority for the primary time.

Nationalists, liberals and Greens all gained floor, leaving the EU extra fragmented and the potential for discovering consensus extra distant.

The talks over dinner on Tuesday might not even lead to a shortlist of candidates and the haggling is prone to take months.

UK Prime Minister Theresa Could is collaborating, however Brussels sources say there will probably be little or no dialogue of Brexit.

Who will take over on the Fee?

It’s far too early to say. Negotiations are prone to be lengthy and difficult, with a number of candidates within the combine.

The position of Fee president, the physique that enforces EU guidelines and drafts EU legislation, is at the moment held by Jean-Claude Juncker, who’s on the finish of his five-year time period.

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Media captionA transparent development was the “Inexperienced wave”, with a surge of Inexperienced MEPs elected

In 2014 Mr Juncker was chosen to go the Fee because the centre-right European Folks’s Occasion (EPP) candidate, after the EPP had received the election.

However it’s a a lot more durable problem this time for the EPP’s candidate Manfred Weber – a German – after his bloc shrank from 217 seats to 180 within the 751-seat parliament.

Arriving in Brussels, Mrs Merkel mentioned she “in fact” backed Mr Weber, together with her home occasion a type of within the EPP grouping.

Candidates spar on TV for prime EU job

However French President Emmanuel Macron didn’t even point out Mr Weber as a potential candidate, as an alternative naming chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who’s French, Danish liberal Margrethe Vestager and Dutch centre-left candidate Frans Timmermans as having the appropriate “expertise”.

Mr Timmermans has described the nomination course of as just like the brutal TV fantasy drama Recreation of Thrones.

Amongst different EU members, the leaders of Eire and Croatia have backed Mr Weber, Spain and Sweden help Mr Timmermans whereas Luxembourg has spoken for Ms Vestager.

Time to barter – and compromise

The EU has dedicated to stability gender, political affiliation and geography when it fills its prime jobs.

The leaders of the 28 member states must compromise with one another, and with MEPs who get to approve the selection. However this morning the European Parliament watered down its calls for for the number of the president of the European Fee, issuing an announcement which says the winner solely needed to be somebody “who made his/her programme and character recognized previous to the elections, and engaged in a European-wide marketing campaign”.

That doubtlessly opens the door to candidates who weren’t strictly candidates earlier than, equivalent to Margrethe Vestager or perhaps even Michel Barnier.

The earlier front-runner Manfred Weber admits that his political household misplaced seats on the election which weakens his declare on the job.

There are additionally hints that the European Parliament will focus its efforts on defining the EU’s future path, reasonably than searching for a robust position in choosing its personnel. Quite a lot of names will come and go and rise and fall earlier than the method ultimately involves an finish later this yr.

The opposite prime EU officers to get replaced later this yr are: European Council President Donald Tusk (Polish); European Central Financial institution President Mario Draghi (Italian) and EU Excessive Consultant for Overseas Affairs Federica Mogherini (Italian).

After prolonged negotiations, the brand new prime officers will take up their posts on 1 November, aside from the brand new European Council chief, who begins on 1 December.

Countdown to EU prime jobs:

Could-June: Consultations between EU leaders and parliamentary teams

20-21 June: European Council selections

July: European Parliament votes on nominee for Fee president

1 November: New Fee president takes workplace, together with new Excessive Consultant and ECB president

1 December: New European Council President takes workplace

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