BRUSSELS, may 28. /TASS/. The heads of States and governments of EU countries will meet on Tuesday at this month’s summit, to discuss the results of the last 23-26 may elections to the European Parliament, which should lead to the change of leadership of the community institutions. This process, according to European sources, will not be easy and could drag on for months, as the majority of member countries opposed the current system of appointment of the head of the European Commission.
Elections to the European Parliament is not removed, and only aggravated these contradictions. The leading faction of the EP — the Christian democratic European people’s party (EPP) and social Democrats first lost the majority. This means that they will not be able to continue to confidently nominate their candidates for the presidency of the EC.
To decide what to do next, and try to make it to November 1 to form a new composition of the European Commission, the outgoing head of the European Council Donald Tusk called an emergency meeting of heads of state. Discussion at the summit will be of a preliminary nature. All formal decisions are expected to be taken on the next scheduled summit in June, if possible, to reach agreement.
The system of “single candidate”
Elections in the EP must initiate the process of distribution of leadership posts in the EU institutions. 31 Oct expire powers of the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the other 27 members of the EC and the President of the European Council Donald Tusk and high representative of the Union for foreign Affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini. That is, by 1 November, all EU institutions must be “updated”.
The stumbling block could be the appointment of the head of the EC. He has the most extensive powers in Brussels. Until 2014 he was appointed head of state and government of the community in closed summits. It was justified, while the EU was just an international organization, and the European Commission technical coordination structure.
But in the process of EU enlargement and deeper integration of its members the powers of the European Commission grew rapidly, transforming it virtually into a transnational European government. Accordingly, there is a problem of democracy: if the Prime Ministers and presidents in the EU determine the election, the head of the European Commission was just appointed political elite.
As a result, in signed in 2007 Lisbon Treaty on the European Union published an article about the need to take into account the results of the elections to the European Parliament in the appointment of the head of the European Commission. The agreement, however, did not define any exact procedures. Only to the European elections in 2014, formed the system of “single candidate” in Brussels, which called on the German style “spitzenkandidat” (Spitzenkandidat).
Its essence lies in the fact that all the leading faction of the European Parliament determine their candidates for the presidency of the European Commission. The winner of the election, that is, a single candidate from the coalition factions, which will gather a majority in the European Parliament, must be approved on this post the EU summit and the session of the European Parliament.
The loss of the most
So one of the issues identified in the EP elections, the loss of most of the centrist parties, which for decades defined the policy of the EU. The EPP, the largest supranational political Union of the European Union, and the second largest Union parties of socialist orientation “of the Progressive Alliance of socialists and Democrats”, though the retained first and second places by the number of mandates, but has lost the majority of the total seats in Parliament. It is necessary to submit for approval to the EU summit candidacy of the new head of the European Commission.
Thus, the original plan on which a post of the head of the European Commission was virtually assured the presidential candidate of the EPP, the German Manfred Weber, has failed. After losing nearly 20% of its seats in the European Parliament, EPP hardly has the moral right to continue to nominate candidates for the presidency of the EC.
Chances are that they have to put aside pride and party differences and create evropeiskoy a coalition with the socialists and the liberals, and perhaps even with “green” to counter the skeptics. Even if that happens, the candidate first Vice — President of the European Commission, the Dutch Frans Timmermans is also has little chance to take the post of head of the Executive branch of the EU for the same reasons, and Manfred Weber.
No less a problem is that between the leaders of the EU there is no agreement on the “single candidate”. As reported by European sources, about 11 countries are against it, and others. Among the most ardent opponents of the system, in particular, the President of France Emmanuel macron, which does not suit the candidate of the EPP, Manfred Weber.
“Opposing the system “single candidate” I believe that the European Council (EU summit) can stand as a candidate for the presidency of the European Commission, as was done until 2014. The Council has already said that legally it cannot be restricted in the appointment of candidates, despite the European Parliament resolution, insisting on compliance with the system,” — said korr. TASS a source in the EU Council.
This is a very serious legal case, because of the EU from a legal point of view is still not a state, but only the international organization, despite the rapid growth of the powers of Brussels. The main body of the decision it still is not the European Commission not the European Parliament and the European Council, which brings together the heads of state and government of the EU. The European Parliament resolution has only recommendatory and not binding even within the EU, and all directives of the European Commission enter into force only after their approval the community.
Only this year the EU summit has already overturned its own decision, the action of the 50th article of the Lisbon agreement on the country’s withdrawal from the community, which ordered the UK to leave the EU on March 29 — exactly two years after official written notification of Brexit. The Council just decided to give London a delay of seven months until 31 October 2019, one stroke of the pen changing the application of the basic legal document of the EU.
So from a legal point of view, the European Council (EU summit) is enough for the authority simply to bypass the awkward system of appointment of the head of the European Commission and name its own candidate.
Thus, it is expected that the summit will be a battle between the two camps — supporters of preserving the system of “single candidate” and its opponents. Thus the statement of the candidate on a post of the head of the European Commission do not need a unanimous decision of all 28 leaders — enough to achieve a majority of votes. “This means that no individual country can veto the decision, if there is a majority of votes,” added the source.
The shadow candidate
Now there are three real candidates for the presidency of the EC from the main political groups in the European Parliament. Is Manfred Weber, EPP, Frans Timmermans from the socialists and the candidate of the liberals — the European Commissioner for competition in the current European Commission, the Dane Margrethe Vestager. The last is in the hands of just three trumps.
First, much of the political success of the United liberal Democrats, which came in third place in the European Parliament, increasing its representation in half — from 68 to 109 seats. Secondly, she is a woman. This is a strong argument in the current environment of fierce fighting in Brussels for gender equality in everything, including in leadership positions of euroinstitut.
Thirdly, over the last five years on the post of the European Commissioner for competition, she has received considerable popularity and fame, not least a multibillion-dollar penalties against key American companies, including IT giants Microsoft (“Microsoft”), Apple (“Apple”) and Google (“Google”). In the face of increasing disagreements between the EU and the United States and the ongoing trade war between them such fame gives it the aura of defender of European economic interests, which can lead the European Commission over the next five years.
However, on the sidelines of euroinstitut know the name of a possible shadow candidate of the EU Council, for which purpose it is necessary to “break” the “single candidate”. This 68-year-old Frenchman Michel Barnier — chief negotiator of the EU in the negotiations with Britain about the conditions of Brexit.
He’s got great respect in Brussels and many other capitals of continental Europe, driving the UK to a standstill in the negotiations on withdrawal from the EU, thereby imparting a hard lesson to political forces in other countries of the community, which after London was considered such a possibility. He is the preferred candidate for the President of France and many other EU leaders.
According to European media, Brussels experts and sources in the EU institutions, namely Barnier is now the most likely candidate to head the European Commission, although as yet remains in the shadows. Where it, quite possibly, will lead the summit.
Read more •••