Still no deal on top EU jobs despite all-night haggling

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders had been locked in all-night negotiations over the bloc’s top jobs, however as day broke on Monday there was nonetheless no deal on who ought to lead its government as political teams jockeyed for affect.

A journalist sleeps whereas ready for the tip of a European Union leaders summit that goals to pick candidates for top EU establishment jobs, in Brussels, Belgium July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

When the leaders of the EU’s 28 member-states gathered for the emergency summit on Sunday, Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans was in pole place to switch Jean-Claude Juncker as the subsequent European Commission president, below a deal hatched on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan final week.

However, the plan encountered stiff opposition from jap European states in addition to the center-right European People’s Party bloc earlier than the summit even bought underway, forcing Donald Tusk, the top of the European Council, to spend the evening holding bilateral talks looking for a consensus candidate.

None appeared to emerge and by 0500 CET (0300 GMT) Timmermans was as soon as once more the favourite because the haggling continued, diplomats mentioned.

The deadlock underlines broader decision-making issues dealing with the EU, which has struggled to reply to a sequence of crises in recent times, from migration to local weather change and the aftermath of the worldwide monetary disaster.

“It’s a bit like Brexit. We know what people don’t want but very few say what they want,” mentioned one European diplomat, evaluating the talks to Britain’s as but unsuccessful makes an attempt to depart the European Union.

The summit is a 3rd try and fill 5 top posts operating the European Union for the subsequent 5 years, forging coverage for the world’s greatest free commerce space and greater than 500 million folks.

Other jobs up for grabs embrace the subsequent president of the European Central Bank, however that call will nearly actually be postponed as leaders attempt to break the impasse of the Commission chief.


The plan to award Timmermans, a 58-year-old former overseas minister who speaks six languages, the Commission presidency was brokered by the leaders of France, Germany, Spain and Holland in Osaka after there was no majority help for the candidate of the EPP.

The EPP is the biggest group within the EU parliament although it doesn’t have a majority. As a trade-off, the EPP may very well be handed the much less influential job of European Parliament president. But the plan has met with fierce resistance.

“The vast majority of EPP prime ministers don’t believe that we should give up the presidency quite so easily, without a fight,” Ireland’s center-right Prime Minister Leo Varadkar informed reporters.

The EPP rebel underlined how weakened German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose Christian Democrat occasion belongs to the group, has turn into as she prepares to handover to her successor.

A second European official described her as being in a “very weak moment”, struggling to regulate her occasion and with a lot scrutiny of her well being after struggling two episodes of shaking in public.

To be appointed, the subsequent Commission president wants the help of a minimum of 72% of the 28 member states, who should signify a minimum of 65% of the EU inhabitants.

“Still no white smoke,” Dutch liberal EU lawmaker Sophie in’t Veld mentioned on Twitter. “No other major democracy in the world has such a bizarre and arcane method for choosing its political leadership.”

Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke; Editing by Robin Emmott

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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