Working the night shift, EU leaders try to fill top jobs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders went into an 18th consecutive hour of negotiations on Monday in a tortured seek for a candidate to fill the submit of European Commission president after all-night talks led to an deadlock.

With German Chancellor Angela Merkel unable to corral her allies into supporting a cope with France and Spain, European Council President Donald Tusk examined names with small teams of leaders all through the night.

But even after daybreak broke and the 28 leaders went for breakfast, the early frontrunner Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans was unable to command a majority as japanese Europeans and Merkel’s center-right European People’s Party rebelled.

“At the moment there is no agreement,” Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte instructed reporters simply earlier than the breakfast session obtained underway in the glass and metal Europa constructing in Brussels.

The summit is a 3rd try to fill 5 top posts working the European Union for not less than the subsequent 5 years, forging coverage for the world’s greatest free-trade space and greater than 500 million individuals.

Leaders had hoped to first agree on a reputation to change Jean-Claude Juncker as EU chief government that might then permit a deal on who ought to change Mario Draghi as European Central Bank president.

But that call will virtually definitely be postponed as leaders try and break the impasse of the Commission chief.

Photographs taken by diplomats throughout the night confirmed French President Emmanuel Macron seated together with his centrist political allies from Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium as they sought methods to persuade others to again Timmermans, a former Dutch international minister.

Under a deal between France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain hatched on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan final week, Timmermans would run the Commission and the EPP would take the European Parliament presidency for his or her candidate, German EU lawmaker Manfred Weber.

The deadlock underlines broader decision-making issues dealing with the EU, which has struggled to reply to a collection of crises lately, from migration to local weather change and the aftermath of the world monetary disaster.

The EPP riot additionally underlined how weakened German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose Christian Democrat celebration belongs to the group, has grow to be as she prepares to handover to her successor.

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

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

The EPP is the largest group in the EU parliament although it doesn’t have a majority.

“The vast majority of EPP prime ministers don’t believe that we should give up the presidency quite so easily,” Ireland’s center-right Prime Minister Leo Varadkar instructed reporters. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov stated: “Merkel is the chairman of the CDU, not the EPP.”


But Merkel, Macron and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stated they too weren’t giving up and not using a combat.

“Merkel and Macron are not going home without a decision,” stated one European diplomat, saying the nature of the talks had echoes of Britain’s as but unsuccessful makes an attempt to go away the European Union as a result of few leaders knew what they need.

“They only say who they don’t want in the Commission post.”

To be appointed, the subsequent Commission president wants the help of not less than 72% of the 28 member states, who should signify not less than 65% of the EU inhabitants.

Slideshow (three Images)

Diplomats stated getting names agreed was essential for the EU’s standing, as extra delays would solely present fodder to anti-establishment nationalists who say the bloc is out of contact with its residents, divided and dysfunctional.

But looking for a good gender stability and a variety of candidates from each japanese and western Europe is proving a problem, whereas leaders had hoped to keep away from a collection of back-room offers by being extra clear.

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

Female candidates for the Commission embody Danish liberal Margrethe Vestager; Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian head of the World Bank for EU international affairs chief; and Christine Lagarde as ECB president, diplomats stated.

Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke and Alexandra Regida; Writing by Robin Emmott; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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