For the next five years the European Commission can lead the German artist Ursula von der Leyen. Her candidacy was an unexpected outcome of the EU summit that lasted three days. But she still has to find support in the European Parliament.
After three days of hot debate in Brussels failed to agree on who will lead the EU next five years. The leaders of the EU countries on Tuesday, 2 July, agreed on a package of nominations. Key position – President of the European Commission – should, in their opinion, to the current Minister of defence of Germany Ursula von der Leyen (Ursula von der Leyen). However, it is still necessary to garner majority support in the European Parliament.
Who will lead the EU
The current political situation is new for the EU. Because the two major parties – the conservative European people’s party (EPP) and social Democrats lost the majority in the European Parliament. That is why there is a need for broader coalitions, primarily with the participation of the liberals who formed the third number of the deputies of the faction in Parliament called “renovate Europe”.
In such circumstances, decided at once to agree on a package of candidates for all key positions in the EU, because if all three parties will get their “piece of the pie”, it is more likely that they will support the whole compromise.
In the end, the EPP, which represents the von der Leyen, will get the post of President of the European Commission. Charles Michel, who now heads the government of Belgium, has elected to be President of the European Council – where he was replaced by Donald Tusk on 1 December. EU high representative for foreign policy will be the foreign Minister of Spain Josep Borrell, however, this consent has yet to give the new President of the European Commission. The present managing Director of the IMF, Frenchwoman Christine Lagarde was nominated to the post of head of the European Central Bank. It is also EPP.
Compensation official candidates
Von der Leyen will be difficult to obtain the votes of a majority of MEPs. Because of the faction of the EPP, social Democrats and greens in the European Parliament has many times expressed its support for the process by which the President of the European Commission appointed a man, who during the last elections to the European Parliament official candidate of one of the European parties on the position. From the EPP it was the German Manfred Weber (Manfred Weber), from the social Democrats – the Dutchman Frans Timmermans. However, this procedure in the EU legally is nowhere to be fixed.
The summit decided to “compensate” the parties candidates for the position of head of the European Commission that they have not received it. Namely, Weber should be the speaker of the European Parliament for a second during this convocation period lasting 2.5 years. Timmermans should remain the Vice-President of the European Commission. But since these appointments do not fall within the competence of the EU summit, they are formulated as “recommendations”. It is a word used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel).
The first package lumpy
During the final press conference, Merkel looked pleased and called this package of nominations, “good.” The German representative was the head of the European Commission only in the years 1958-1967, in the days of the European economic community. In addition, von der Leyen is considered a very close ally of Merkel.
Prior to this, the Chancellor of Germany supported the Weber. But against his candidacy actively fought the President of France Emmanuel macron. Because of this, last week became a favorite of the Timmermans. With his candidacy on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka agreed to such key players as the macron, Merkel and the Prime Ministers of Spain, Pedro Sanchez and the Netherlands mark Rutte.
“Osaka” package has caused, however, widespread resistance. On the one hand, opposed by countries of the “Visegrad four” – Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The fact that Timmermans is now engaged in the European Commission issues the rule of law. And because he was the epitome of the conflict between Brussels and Warsaw and Budapest, when the European Commission criticized steps in Poland and Hungary as contrary to the rule of law. On the same occasion the nomination of Timmermans is not supported, and Italy.
On the other hand, against this package spoke several Prime Ministers-Ministers of the EPP, in particular Andrei Plenkovich from Croatia, Leo Varadkar of Ireland, Boyko Borisov from Bulgaria. In their opinion, the most powerful position in the EU would have to obtain the representative of the EPP, won first place in the European Parliament elections in may.
The three-day summit
The current package found wide support. For the candidacy of von der Leyen voted the leaders of 27 countries. Abstained only Merkel. She explained that the rules of voting accepted in Germany. Because her coalition partners, the social Democrats, did not support this nomination, the Chancellor had to refrain. But Michelle Lagarde received the unanimous support of the leaders of all 28 EU member States.
In turn, macron said “positive” result. In particular, he would be happy with von der Leyen has experience in government (which is not a Weber), and also the fact that she speaks French.
This package is the result of three days of intense debate in Brussels. EU leaders gathered on Sunday evening, June 30, and talks 20 hours later, Monday afternoon, after it became clear that the “Osaka” package is not supported. The second session of the summit lasted all of Tuesday.
Discontent in the European Parliament
However, the efforts of the summit participants may be in vain. From the European Parliament, meeting in the same day, at its first meeting in Strasbourg, already one can hear criticism of the accepted decisions. So, the Chairman of the faction of the social Democrats Iratxe Garcia said: “it is Unacceptable that populist governments in the European Council reject the best candidate only because he defended the rule of law and our common European values.”
A similar position was taken and the fraction of “green”. “We don’t need the lowest common denominator that satisfies personal interests and party politics. We need dynamics for political change in Europe, and its this package doesn’t offer,” said Ska Keller, co-chair of the green faction, which is fourth in the number of deputies in the European Parliament.
Whether von der Leyen to find a majority in the European Parliament, will be known after the vote, scheduled for mid-July. Candidate for the presidency of the European Commission you need to dial 376 votes out of 751.