12 Thursday, May 16, 2019 18:54

'Who is Manfred Weber?' EU in 'POWER STRUGGLE' as Commission candidates face criticism

The European Union is preparing for a change of leadership as European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker will retire in November. The selection process for the next Commission boss has sparked criticism from EU leaders like Emmanuel Macron, who has suggested the current system could return the least good candidate for the position.

Communication expert Dennis Abbott told Euronews: It is a bit of a power struggle but I think there are people who are fairly lukewarm about this process - some people are worried it restricts the talent pool. Related articles
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Last time we used the process and a Prime Minister emerged but this time it looks like Manfred Weber is going to get the job.Who’s Manfred Weber? He is virtually unknown in his own country, he is certainly not known in the other 27 member states. What do you want, an ex-Prime Minister or a political pygmy?The European Council, which is charged with the selection of the new head of the Commission, has been following the so-called Spitzenkandidaten system to pick the next Commission leader in 2014.

The Spitzenkandidaten mechanism allows each parliamentary group in the European Parliament (EP) to select a lead candidate for the position, with the presidency usually awarded to the candidate whose political party wins a majority in the European elections.
EU news: Macron has repeatedly rejected the Spitzenkandidaten system (Image: FRANCE 24•EURONEWS) Once a prospective European Commission president is found, newly elected members of the EP are tasked with confirming their appointment with a vote once they are in session.

The new Commission boss is confirmed if they receive the required majority (half of the total MEPs plus one) of the votes. If the EP rejects the appointment, the European Council is required to convene within a month’s time to make another pick.Manfred Weber has been leading the European People’s Party (EPP), a party grouping conservative and liberal forces across the EU, since 2014, and has been widely tipped as the next Commission President.

Mr Weber has secured the support of Angela Merkel, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) to which he belongs, but has attracted the criticism of French leader Emmanuel Macron.The French President has repeatedly criticised the Spitzenkandidaten system, saying he does not feel bound at all by the principle of the Spitzenkandidat.

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