Wednesday

24th May 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Investigation

Fight club: Russian spies seek EU recruits

Russian intelligence services are using martial arts clubs to recruit potential troublemakers in Germany and other EU countries, security experts have warned.

News in Brief

  1. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  2. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  3. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan
  4. Report: VW threatened with €19.7 billion French fine
  5. Turkey begins mass trial of suspected coup leaders
  6. Merkel's CDU consolidates lead in polls
  7. France to host Russian president
  8. Switzerland votes against nuclear power

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms