The issues of the European spitzen personnel have moved below due to other worldwide political events, at least in the perception of many media. But only apparently. Before his departure for Japan, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, continued his weeks-long and parallel consultations on the EU’s top appointments after last week’s “regular” EU summit. Certainly not to take a break during the G20 meeting. Because, even if not all of them, he will meet the decisive heads of state and government of the EU in Osaka and try to pursue his goal of establishing a list of candidates for the top jobs in Europe for the “special” meeting of the European Council (next Sunday, June 30 (ff)): the head of the EU Commission, the president of the EU Parliament – both posts due to the decision and the The President of the European Commission, the President of the EU Commission, the President of the European Central Bank – the two posts on the basis of the decision-making or decision-making powers of the EU Commission, the President of the EU Parliament – the two posts, the President of the EU Commission and the President of the European Central Bank.
Time is of the essence as Parliament begins its legislative term on 2 July. In this respect, the future occupation of the President of Parliament, which, as EU President Antonio Tajani stressed at the meeting of Heads of State and Government last week, will take place in absolute autonomy of Parliament, triggers the distribution of cards in the European power poker. The office of President of the Commission, on the other hand, is important and hotly contested. The top candidate principle presented to the electorate was put up for discussion after election day. Paradoxically, from both sides, albeit with different motivations: there was criticism of the principle agreed before from the circle of heads of state and government who wanted to uphold their right to propose. On the other hand, Parliament’s behaviour of not being able to agree on the top candidate of the electoral winner, of even undermining this with new constellations, also reveals no consistency.
In the end, it is about the democratic legitimacy of the President of the Commission and the influence of Parliament. The voter want’s to see that his will and vote is taken into account. In addition to the distribution of repartition in Strasbourg and Brussels (the two locations of the European parliament), the major parties had promised that only a top candidate could become Commission President.
Osaka gives the President-in-Office of the Council, Donald Tusk, who wants to achieve a result, another opportunity to prepare it. He meets the group leaders again before the start of the special summit on Sunday. As a precaution, he had the programme for June 30 drafted as follows: “If necessary, the meeting can be continued with breakfast on July 1, 2019.”
For itself the Parliament has scheduled the election of its President (for the next two and a half years) for July 3. On July 2 Parliament will be constituted and on July 4 MEPs will discuss the results of the two EU summits in June with the Presidents of the European Council and with the President of the Commission, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker.
In the end, both the Heads of State and Government and the European Parliament will be facing more than just getting together – among themselves and with each other. In addition to the distribution of interests and power, credibility must also be maintained vis-à-vis with the voters who showed a pro-European commitment expressed in the turnout. As much as one might sympathize with the methodology established by French President Emmanuel Macron, it simply came too late.
In the meantime, Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović-Burić (Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)), who has been in office since June 2017, has been elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The term of office is five years.
Hans Uwe Mergener