Tuesday, Jul 16

Merkel: We didn’t talk about individual names

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said European leaders did not discuss names but talked desired qualifications for top EU jobs during a summit Tuesday in Brussels.
29.05.2019 - 09:25

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU leaders mainly discussed the outcome of European Parliament elections and a timetable for the filling of the top EU positions.

"THE TIMETABLE HAS BEEN DISCUSSED"

“Today, we didn’t talk about individual names,” she told a news conference following the informal summit where she underlined talks were focused on skills and competencies required for top spots, including the EU Commission president.

Merkel said she and other European leaders will try to reach an agreement by the EU summit June 21-22, and submit a proposal to the parliament for the position of the Commission president. The German chancellor reaffirmed her support for Manfred Weber, the lead candidate of center-right parties in parliamentary elections, who has been an MEP since 2004. She argued that Weber has the skills and competencies to become the new president of the EU Commission, although critics underline the has no experience in government.

The president of the EU Commission is nominated by member states and parliament needs to approve the candidate by an absolute majority. Weber’s European People's Party (EPP), the umbrella group of center-right parties, has become the largest faction in parliament, winning 180 seats in the 751-seat body in elections Sunday. But the EPP needs support from at least two political groups in parliament to build a majority.