European leaders met on Thursday to seek a candidate for the EU’s top job, with all to play for after Brussels’ political factions failed to unite behind a single figure.
Arriving at the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron dismissed the idea that the new president of the European Commission should be chosen by the European Parliament.
The French leader said the two-day summit would demonstrate that the parliamentarians’ so-called “Spitzenkandidat” or “lead candidate” process is unworkable and that the union’s 28 national leaders must decide on the nominee.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the political process, and noted that whichever name the leaders come up with will still have to be approved by a majority of MEPs in the incoming assembly.
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.
Whoever is eventually the nominee must win the backing of least 21 of the 28 EU leaders and a majority in the 751-member parliament.