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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

President of the European Council Charles Michel: no agreement on filling the highest positions

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The President of the European Council announced that European Union leaders failed to reach an agreement on Monday regarding the appointment of the four highest positions in the EU. However, Charles Michel emphasized that the negotiations were heading in the right direction. The heads of state and government will return to the official summit next week.

Shortly before midnight, the summit on filling key positions in the European Union ended in Brussels. It was informal. Therefore, no official decisions were expected, but the leaders were expected to express general support for the negotiated set of names.

– It was a good opportunity to exchange views and opinions on the results elections and preparations for the official meeting of the European Council, which will take place next week in Brussels – announced after the end of the summit its host, the President of the European Council Charles Michel. – It was a good conversation, it is heading in the right direction, but there is no agreement at this stage – he said.

As Michel added, “it is important that all 27 countries feel that they have an influence in the decision-making process and that all leaders have the same amount of information and the same opportunities to make decisions.”

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President of the European Council Charles MichelOLIVIER HOSLET/PAP/EPA

No agreement on the highest EU positions

The leaders discussed a specific set of names. Ursula von der Leyen would remain the head of the European Commission for a second term, and Robert Metsola would remain the head of the European Parliament. These two positions would therefore remain in the possession of the European People's Party (EPP), which won the European elections.

The Estonian prime minister, liberal Kaja Kallas, is to become the head of EU diplomacy, and the social democrat and former prime minister Portugal Antonio Costa would replace Michel as president of the European Council in December.

Although the leaders failed to reach an agreement, no new candidates were on the table. However, there was no breakthrough because the leaders were divided by the question of how long Costa should hold the office of president of the European Council. The term of office lasts two and a half years, but may be extended for another two and a half years.

Talks about the future of the EU

When entering the meeting, the leaders themselves announced that they hoped for a quick agreement. This is what he claimed, among others: chancellor German Olaf Scholzwho said that “we live in difficult times and Europe must know what the future awaits it.”

Michel also reported on the conversation the leaders had with von der Leyen. According to him, the current president of the European Commission shared her vision of the future of the EU with the leaders. – It was known from the beginning that we had to address two key topics in June, one regarding the results of the European Parliament elections and the other regarding the EU's strategic agenda – he said.

It's about the priorities that leaders are expected to approve for the next five years. Work on it started a few months ago, and the decision is also expected to be made next week.

Main photo source: OLIVIER HOSLET/PAP/EPA



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