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France and Germany are undecided on EU Commission top position



European Union’s Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s job is up for grabs. But France and Germany are already undecided over who should take on the other EU key roles as well.

This was revealed at a meeting recently held in Brussels, which was a chance for EU leaders to discuss the new political landscape and who might take over the top jobs. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel is wishing for centre-right candidate Manfred Weber to take on as the next EU Commission president, French President Emmanuel Macron seemed to have other names on his list; no where was the mention of Weber as a contender for the influential position.

Analysts now believe that the elections have left EU more fragmented with the chances of reaching consensus more difficult. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said Brexit was a factor behind a majority of voters favouring pro-EU parties.

The commission is the body that enforces EU rules and drafts EU law, and its presidency is currently held by Jean-Claude Juncker, who is at the end of his five-year term.

In 2014 Mr Juncker was chosen to head the Commission as the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) candidate, after the EPP had won the election.

But it is a much tougher challenge this time for the EPP’s candidate Manfred Weber – a German – after his bloc performed miserably, coming down 37 seats in the 751-seat parliament, although it remains the biggest grouping.

Mrs Merkel seems to be standing by Mr Weber, but “others stand by their candidate, which is obvious.” The vote has seen big centrist blocs lose their majorities with Greens and nationalists gaining ground.

Several others are in the running for the top position. Among them comes chief Brexit negotiator of French origins, Michel Barnier; Danish liberal Margrethe Vestager and Dutch centre-left candidate Frans Timmermans.

The other top EU officials to be replaced later this year are: European Council President Donald Tusk (Polish); European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (Italian) and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini (Italian).

After lengthy negotiations, the new top officials will take up their posts on 1 November, except for the new European Council chief, who starts on 1 December.


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