Sunday

19th Feb 2017

Opposition to Mogherini fading in EU capital

A deal is shaping up for Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini to become the EU's next foreign affairs chief, provided the prime minister of Poland or a Baltic leader takes up the EU Council presidency.

Several EU sources told EUobserver on Thursday (28 August) that Mogherini is increasingly certain to get the job, with EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy working the phones to EU leaders ahead of a summit on Saturday aimed at filling the two top posts.

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.

"If we get a Mogherini-Tusk deal ahead of the summit, leaders may spend less time on the top posts and more on Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza," one source told this website.

Another source said Mogherini is more of a certainty than Tusk, who is so far playing his cards close to his chest.

British PM David Cameron earlier this week endorsed Tusk for the EU Council job, while German chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly tried as far back as July to convince the Polish politician to take up the post.

Back then, Tusk said he wants to stay in national politics, with some diplomats pointing to his poor English skills as a handicap for the Brussels-based job.

But even if Tusk refuses, the EU Council job is almost certain to go to an eastern European state - with former Latvian PM Valdis Dombrovskis or Estonia's former prime minister Andrus Ansip floated as alternatives.

Tusk or another eastern European leader as Council president might provide the necessary "counterbalance" for Mogherini critics to accept her appointment.

At a summit in July, eastern member states rebelled against her, citing her pro-Russia stance and lack of experience - as she was only appointed foreign minister in February.

Key MEPs who are needed to secure a vote in the European Parliament later this autumn also said there was need for someone "with experience" to head the EU diplomatic service at a time when Russia wages wars at the borders of Europe.

But on Thursday, Elmar Brok, chairman of the influential foreign affairs committee in the European Parliament, seemed resigned with the idea that the foreign affairs post will go to "a Socialist" instead of his preferred candidate, Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski.

Asked if he thought Mogherini was fit for the job, Brok said it was "up to the Socialists to come up with a candidate" who meets the European Parliament's demands for a more assertive EU foreign policy. B

ut he did not outright reject Mogherini as being inexperienced, as he had done before.

As for Tusk, Brok joked that "any Polish candidate is always a good candidate”, adding that he is a "man from a country which has a lot of political experience." Alluding to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Brok added that it would be a "good political message" to put someone from the new member states in one of the top posts.

Rome continues to push Italian FM to replace Ashton

Rome is continuing to push Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini to be the next EU foreign policy chief, despite opposition based on her experience and her country's perceived pro-Russia stance.

EU leaders meet on top jobs, Ukraine

EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Saturday to clinch a deal on two top posts and to discuss further sanctions on Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine.

Who is Federica Mogherini?

Italy's Federica Mogherini's will have to hit the ground running as EU's new foreign policy chief as the Russia conflict escalates.

EU commission drops anti-corruption report

Transparency campaigners are livid after the EU commission scuppered plans to publish an EU anti-corruption report amid unfolding corruption scandals in Romania and France.

News in Brief

  1. Migrants storm Spanish enclave of Ceuta
  2. Spain's princess fined for tax fraud, husband sentenced
  3. EU to invest millions in energy infrastructure
  4. Dutch data watchdog forces online vote aides to up security
  5. EU allows Lithuania to ban Russian tv channel
  6. Finland announces increase in defence spending
  7. Ex-PM Blair says Brits should 'rise up' against Brexit
  8. Nato chief says facts to prevail over fake news

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  4. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  5. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  7. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  8. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  9. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  10. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  11. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content
  12. Belgrade Security ForumBSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty