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EU Leaders can Not Reach Consensus on Candidates for High-Level Posts

BRUSSELS – European Union (EU) leaders have had talks all night trying to find a consensus on the replacement of Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the European Commission, RFI reported Monday.
Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte told reporters on Monday that there is no agreement “for the moment” between European leaders.
Sunday’s dinner was delayed by three hours due to consultations between heads of state and was then suspended after one hour to continue discussions. The 28 EU Member States are divided on the proposal of the Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans to lead the European Commission, the EU’s executive body.
The right-wing European parties – Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Ireland – opposed Timmermans’ claim to the leading position. The general secretary of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) in Germany has said that a different option from Manfred Weber would be “incomprehensible”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports Weber, but French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested that Weber lacked experience for work of this scale.
In addition, France believes that Germany holds a sufficient number of key positions in the EU, such as the European Investment Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the European Court of Auditors.
Following the start of negotiations on Sunday morning, EU Council President and President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, had more than 30 bilateral meetings with the aim of finding a solution. He suggested other names, including that of the Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.
The task was never going to be easy. Nominations must take into account political affiliation, geography, balancing the size and gender of the East and West, North and South population. The leaders of the European institutions are supposed to represent impartially the interests of all the member nations of the world and in Brussels.
European leaders want to fill posts soon because the European Parliament should choose a new president next Wednesday.
Under EU rules, member countries choose who will lead the Commission, replacing Juncker. The parliament must approve this choice. But the assembly insisted that only the top candidates of the parties who ran in last month’s elections are eligible.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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