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No political deal on EU top jobs after leaders' meeting in Brussels

June 18, 2024
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, Croatian prime minister Andrej Plenković, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Portuguese prime minister Luis Montenegro
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, Croatian prime minister Andrej Plenković, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Portuguese prime minister Luis Montenegro

BRUSSELS — A highly-anticipated gathering of EU leaders ended without a political agreement on appointments to the EU's top jobs on Monday.

It was the first physical meeting between leaders since the European elections, with hopes high that the 27 could make progress on the delicate task of divvying up the roles of European Commission president, European Council president and High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

But the current president of the Council, Charles Michel, told reporters around midnight that there was "no agreement," insisting that leaders recognised their "duty" to reach a decision by the end of June.

"They have to work very hard to ensure that there will be an agreement," Michel said.

Diplomats had earlier expressed hope a political deal could be reached on Monday in time for the formal EU summit on 27-28 June. Support for a second term for Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission has widened, whilst former Portuguese premier António Costa has emerged as a favorite for the European Council presidency, and Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas for the top diplomatic role of High Representative.

Earlier in the night, the center-right European People's Party (EPP) revealed a hidden card up its sleeve, bidding to split the next two 2.5-year terms of the European Council between a Socialist and one of their own.

With von der Leyen, the EPP's lead candidate, in pole position to secure a second term at the EU executive's helm, and Roberta Metsola - also of the EPP - favorite to continue as the president of the European Parliament, the hypothetical situation would see the EPP in three of the four top jobs in Brussels at a given time. — Euronews


June 18, 2024
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