European Union leaders leader fail again to share out top jobs

European Council President Donald Tusk

Tusk Suspends Meeting of EU Leaders for Bilateral Consultations on Candidatures Sputnik Alexey Vitvitsky

Speaking last night, Donald Tusk, the current Council president said: "We have proposed Ursula von der Leyen as the next president of the European Commission and nominated Christine Lagarde as the candidate for president of the European Central Bank".

German critics are asking, after the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen, Germany's defence minister, for the top European Union job of Commission president.

Ursula was backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel but there was resistance to her nomination within the German coalition.

The Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, who is in a caretaker role as negotiations are ongoing over a new government, will be the third such president of the European council.

The leaders are trying to balance political affiliations, the varying interests of different regions and an acute lack of women in senior ranks as they seek to fill five jobs coming vacant this year.

Von der Leyen will be the 13th commission president, and will be the first woman in the post if parliament supports her in a vote in mid-July. Based on the outcome of the Europarliament elections, Manfred Weber, the candidate put forward by largest parliamentary group, the European People's Party (EPP), should have become commission president.

But their failure, yet again, to agree on any names highlights Europe's changed political landscape following May's elections to the European Parliament, which saw the two historically dominant center-right and -left groups lose seats to the far-right and populists, as well as to pro-business and pro-environment parties.

He refused to call the fact that the V4 blocked the nomination of Frans Timmermans to the post of EC head a victory for the V4 as Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, for example, did. A liberal candidate would succeed Donald Tusk as president of the European Council of national leaders.

Lagarde, who's been leading the International Monetary Fund for nearly a decade, knows a thing or two about running international organizations, and Von der Leyen has been strengthened by a long political career in Germany. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is also attending.

Germany's defense minister since 2013, she has been a fixture in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet over Merkel's almost 14 years in power.

The fifth position is the head of the European Council, whose job is to build compromises among the member states.

A diplomatic source familiar with the matter stated that French President Emmanuel Macron had suggested Lagarde as head of the European Central Bank to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On paper, she ought to be able to secure those votes comfortably, but she may hit resistance in an assembly aggrieved that European Union leaders ignored the lead candidates from the main parliamentary blocs - the "Spitzenkandidaten" - in their horse-trading over top posts.

"But we do recognise the UK's status as a departing member state, we're being as constructive a partner as is possible within these discussions and abiding by the principle of honest cooperation... My good colleague Michel has also visited Estonia on several occasions", Ratas, who was in Brussels for the negotiations, said.

The assembly sits in Strasbourg, in France, on Wednesday to elect its own new president. Now she has called the nomination to succeed Italy's Mario Draghi from 1 November as an "honour" and said she would temporarily give up her role at the International Monetary Fund during the nomination process.

Spain's socialist acting foreign minister would become the bloc's top diplomat in Brussels, replacing outgoing Italian Federica Mogherini.

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