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Europe seeks compromise candidate for top EU job

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Brussels (AFP) – European leaders will try once again Thursday to agree on a compromise EU leader after political groups failed to unite behind a candidate.” data-reactid=”45″>Brussels (AFP) – European leaders will try once again Thursday to agree on a compromise EU leader after political groups failed to unite behind a candidate.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”None of the leading names to have emerged during last month’s European election has won consensus support from the four mainstream parties to become president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.” data-reactid=”46″>None of the leading names to have emerged during last month’s European election has won consensus support from the four mainstream parties to become president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”This lowers the threat that Thursday’s summit will turn into a stand-off between rival capitals, but could also delay efforts to fill Brussels‘ top job.” data-reactid=”47″>This lowers the threat that Thursday’s summit will turn into a stand-off between rival capitals, but could also delay efforts to fill Brussels‘ top job.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”I remain cautiously optimistic, as those I have spoken to have expressed determination to decide swiftly, EU Council president Donald Tusk said of Thursday’s desired outcome.” data-reactid=”48″>”I remain cautiously optimistic, as those I have spoken to have expressed determination to decide swiftly,” EU Council president Donald Tusk said of Thursday’s desired outcome.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Tusk chairs EU leaders‘ summits and has set his colleagues the task of agreeing on a nominee to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission head.” data-reactid=”49″>Tusk chairs EU leaders‘ summits and has set his colleagues the task of agreeing on a nominee to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission head.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Other jobs up for grabs include speaker of the European parliament, which will sit for the first time on July 2, and foreign policy chief.” data-reactid=”50″>Other jobs up for grabs include speaker of the European parliament, which will sit for the first time on July 2, and foreign policy chief.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”National leaders want to control the process and dole out the most senior jobs in a way that balances men and women, east and west, small countries and large.” data-reactid=”51″>National leaders want to control the process and dole out the most senior jobs in a way that balances men and women, east and west, small countries and large.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”But the results of the European election forced the main conservative, socialist, liberal and Green parliamentary blocs to form a majority coalition.” data-reactid=”52″>But the results of the European election forced the main conservative, socialist, liberal and Green parliamentary blocs to form a majority coalition.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The parties, while working to draft a joint political programme, have not yet fallen behind a particular leader.” data-reactid=”53″>The parties, while working to draft a joint political programme, have not yet fallen behind a particular leader.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”One possible candidate is Bavarian conservative MEP Manfred Weber, who led the centre-right EPP grouping to take the biggest single bloc of seats.” data-reactid=”54″>One possible candidate is Bavarian conservative MEP Manfred Weber, who led the centre-right EPP grouping to take the biggest single bloc of seats.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”But he has failed to win over Dutch social democrat Frans Timmerman’s Samp;D or the liberal Renew Europe group, which backed Danish commissioner Margrethe Vestager.” data-reactid=”55″>But he has failed to win over Dutch social democrat Frans Timmerman’s SD or the liberal Renew Europe group, which backed Danish commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The final nominee must have the backing of least 21 of the 28 EU leaders and a majority in the 751-member parliament.” data-reactid=”56″>The final nominee must have the backing of least 21 of the 28 EU leaders and a majority in the 751-member parliament.

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8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”- Power-sharing deal -” data-reactid=”57″>- Power-sharing deal –

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The person who is capable of gathering this double-majority has not yet emerged, a European diplomatic source told AFP on the eve of the meeting.” data-reactid=”58″>”The person who is capable of gathering this double-majority has not yet emerged,” a European diplomatic source told AFP on the eve of the meeting.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Despite this apparent setback, the mood in Brussels was cautiously upbeat, as some progress seems to have been made on a power-sharing deal.” data-reactid=”59″>Despite this apparent setback, the mood in Brussels was cautiously upbeat, as some progress seems to have been made on a power-sharing deal.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”According to three sources close to the negotiations, the leaders are expected to agree that the EPP will win the Commission presidency.” data-reactid=”60″>According to three sources close to the negotiations, the leaders are expected to agree that the EPP will win the Commission presidency.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Renew Europe hopes to see a liberal replace Tusk as president of the leadersEuropean Council, and the socialists will provide a foreign policy chief.” data-reactid=”61″>Renew Europe hopes to see a liberal replace Tusk as president of the leadersEuropean Council, and the socialists will provide a foreign policy chief.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Finally, the Greens could share the job of presiding over the five-year parliament with the socialists, with each providing a speaker for two-and-a-half years.” data-reactid=”62″>Finally, the Greens could share the job of presiding over the five-year parliament with the socialists, with each providing a speaker for two-and-a-half years.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”But all this could still shift a bit, a European official warned.” data-reactid=”63″>”But all this could still shift a bit,” a European official warned.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Even if the rumoured jobs break-down holds, it would remain to pick names, and Tusk has promised to try and find posts for at least two women.” data-reactid=”64″>Even if the rumoured jobs break-down holds, it would remain to pick names, and Tusk has promised to try and find posts for at least two women.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”It’s a good thing we abolished roaming charges in the Union, because the ‘phones are red hot, one diplomat joked.” data-reactid=”65″>”It’s a good thing we abolished roaming charges in the Union, because the ‘phones are red hot,” one diplomat joked.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”One potential hurdle has been avoided, summit planners believe. France and Germany are no longer on a collision course over the jobs.

” data-reactid=”66″>One potential hurdle has been avoided, summit planners believe. France and Germany are no longer on a collision course over the jobs.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”- What does France want? -” data-reactid=”67″>- What does France want? –

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”French President Emmanuel Macron had frustrated Chancellor Angela Merkel by opposing her German ally Weber without offering an alternative name.” data-reactid=”68″>French President Emmanuel Macron had frustrated Chancellor Angela Merkel by opposing her German ally Weber without offering an alternative name.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”But the pair have been in touch daily in the run-up to the meeting and, in the words of a senior German diplomat, now we know what the French really want.” data-reactid=”69″>But the pair have been in touch daily in the run-up to the meeting and, in the words of a senior German diplomat, “now we know what the French really want.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”One option might be Europe’s ambitious Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, a former French minister who is a member of Merkel’s EPP.” data-reactid=”70″>One option might be Europe’s ambitious Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, a former French minister who is a member of Merkel’s EPP.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”But the party is said to have other names up its sleeve and French and German sources agreed the chancellor is not ready to cede the prize to a Frenchman.” data-reactid=”71″>But the party is said to have other names up its sleeve and French and German sources agreed the chancellor is not ready to cede the prize to a Frenchman.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”Tusk wants to move quickly but if there is no final agreement, talks will continue.” data-reactid=”72″>Tusk wants to move quickly but if there is no final agreement, talks will continue.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”The six powerful EU leaders invited to the G20 summit in Osaka on Friday and Saturday next week will take the chance to continue the discussion there.” data-reactid=”73″>The six powerful EU leaders invited to the G20 summit in Osaka on Friday and Saturday next week will take the chance to continue the discussion there.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.

8em)–sm” type=”text” content=”And then, all 28 could return to Brussels on July 1, one day before the new parliament begins its opening session.” data-reactid=”74″>And then, all 28 could return to Brussels on July 1, one day before the new parliament begins its opening session.

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