Gang of 6 to meet over top EU posts
After almost two weeks since millions of voters went to the polls across the European Union, citizens are no less clear on who will become the next President of the European Commission. Six EU leaders from the three main political parties will meet today, Friday, to discuss who should take up the key Commission post. The parties will also be seeking to thrash out who should hold the remaining top EU jobs which include President of the European Council and President of the European Parliament.
Tonight’s meeting of the six designated coordinators include Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovič and Latvia’s Krišjānis Kariņš from the EPP; Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel are expected to represent ALDE; and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Portugal’s António Costa will negotiate on behalf of the Social Democrats. The coordinators will be seeking to make progress in their discussions ahead of a European Council summit on June 20th – 21st which will mark the next formal discussion on the leadership posts.
On Wednesday Manfred Weber was re-elected EPP leader in the European Parliament but the German will be hoping for a move to the 13th floor of The Berlaymont to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the next President of the Commission. However, despite the EPP once again becoming the largest political party in the European Parliament, its coalition with the Socialists lost their majority in last week’s European election. Opposition to Weber’s candidacy for Commission President has risen since the vote with President Macron leading the charge against the EPP’s nominee. The Socialists so far have dug their heels in the sand and their continued opposition to Weber may see the EPP agreeing to forego its grip on the Commission. Meanwhile the liberal ALDE group, which increased its seat count by 37 to 105 in total, is seeking to leverage its position as a potential kingmaker as negotiations between the three main parties intensify.