Thursday

21st Jun 2018

Agenda

Post-election wrangling kicks off this WEEK

  • (Photo: European Parliament)

EU leaders will meet in Brussels Tuesday (27 May) to discuss the outcome of the EU and Ukrainian elections, kicking off the nomination process of the next European Commission chief.

The day starts at 11.30 with a meeting of the political group leaders in the European Parliament. Outgoing Parliament chief Martin Schulz, himself a top candidate for the commission post, will meet EU council president Herman Van Rompuy early afternoon to inform him of the Parliament's position.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

Meanwhile, European political parties - the centre right EPP, the Socialists and the Liberals - will hold their own election-digesting gatherings ahead of the leaders' summit starting at 19.00 Brussels time.

France's Francois Hollande will be at the Socialist meeting along with Schulz, while Germany's Angela Merkel will go to the EPP and its top candidate Jean-Claude Juncker and the Belgian ex-PM Guy Verhofstadt, the third top candidate, to the Liberal gathering.

Van Rompuy in his invitation to the EU leaders has made it clear that no names will be discussed on Tuesday night, rather a general discussion about the elections result, about Ukraine and about policy priorities for the next years in Europe.

Britain has made it clear it doesn't want any of the top candidates, all considered too federalist by London. France has indicated it is backing Schulz, while Germany is playing its cards close to it chest.

The likely outcome is for leaders to give a negotiating mandate to Van Rompuy, who in the coming weeks will have to consult MEPs and national leaders and find a name that will muster a majority both in the European Parliament and in the Council.

EU leaders may give Van Rompuy a 'broader' mandate to negotiate a package deal that would include his own successor, the next foreign affairs chief and possibly a permanent Eurogroup chief - a post eyed by the French and the Spaniards.

From a procedural point of view, the commission candidate needs a so-called qualified majority among EU countries - a voting systems which gives larger states a bigger say. Britain could be in theory outvoted, but it is unlikely for Germany's Angela Merkel and Van Rompuy to go down that road. "Leaders always try to seek consensus," an EU diplomat notes.

The nomination then goes to Parliament, where it has to gather an absolute majority of MEPs. The top candidates are likely to explore on their own what support they can muster in both camps, with phonecalls and meetings starting on Monday.

The week ends early, as Thursday is a holiday in many member states.

EUobserved

After the EP vote – working the camembert

Righteous declarations, posturing, a measured amount of fence-sitting and a hefty dose of speculation is to be expected after the EP results come in.

Greece and Merkel's fate top This WEEK

Eurozone ministers are expected to give the green light to the final disbursement of aid to Greece and agree on measures to help with its debt burden. Meanwhile, the government in Berlin is shaken by Bavarian rebels over migration.

Dutch debate on EU agenda This WEEK

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte will debate the future of the EU with MEPs and with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasburg on Wednesday.

New governments in Spain and Italy This Week

MIgration will be back in the EU limelight as interior ministers discuss the latest proposals on asylum. Italy's new minister is a fan of Orban and has vowed mass deportations.

Analysis

Greece facing post-bailout challenges

Creditors are expected to agree Thursday on a final loan and debt relief measures for Greece. After eight years on an international lifeline, the country will remain under close surveillance - but will have to find a new economic model.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us