Published: Tue, July 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

EU Parliament to elect its president on July 3 in any case

EU Parliament to elect its president on July 3 in any case

The move prompted an angry response from Emmanuel Macron, the French President, who came back to Paris just shortly after the meetings were abruptly called off, terming the impasse as a "failure, until Tuesday's morning".

Macron said it's important to emerge from the meeting with answers and a new team.

Bulgaria's Kristalina Georgieva, from the centre-right European People's Party, looked likely to follow Donald Tusk as head of the European Council.

Under EU rules, member countries choose who will run the Commission, replacing Juncker.

Some five hours after leaders began arriving at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, the full summit still had not got under way.

Several eastern European member states, in particular, the Visegrad Four are resisting Timmermans, who as vice-president of the commission fought the governments of Hungary and Poland over their efforts to curb the independence of the judiciary and democratic freedoms.

"It will continue", Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told reporters after the summit broke off, and leaders left, many without saying much to reporters.

The Spitzenkandidaten process is a method by which the European Parliament seeks to influence who is appointed as President of the European Commission - a role held from 2014 to 2019 by Jean-Claude Juncker.

The leaders' inability to share out the posts - which also include the new heads of the European Parliament and the European Central Bank (ECB), the bloc's top diplomat and the chairman of EU summits - has already taken a toll.

Mr Weber would instead be put forward for election as speaker of the European Parliament, where he leads the largest political bloc. They have been locked in talks ever since amid deep divisions over how to best balance political, geographic and gender considerations among the 28 member nations.

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"I am more than sceptical when I hear that the future of Europe lies in further enlargement when we are not able to agree as a group of twenty-eight", he explained.

Some leaders dozed off from exhaustion in the small hours of Monday during talks that ended with Italy and ex-communist eastern states blocking socialist Dutchman Frans Timmermans from taking up the highest-profile post, that of president of the EU executive, the European Commission.

Deciding the top jobs has been complicated by the fragmentation of the EU political landscape in the May elections to the European Parliament.

The European Parliament will have to elect its president, 14 vice-presidents and five quaestors.

Frans Timmermans, the European Commission's first vice president, will lead the campaign for the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats (S&D).

"There should be two men and two women", Macron said.

This difficulty to coordinate between the continent's different geographical centres has also served as a basis for the French president to oppose, once again, the EU's future prospects for enlargement, despite being now negotiated between the European Union and several Western Balkan countries.

The summit is the third attempt to fill the top post at the EU.

The parliament's approval is required for the Commission president that the national leaders nominate.

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