EU Leaders Delay Top-Jobs Deal, Adding to Post-Election Turmoil

European Union leaders postponed a deal on how to divide the bloc’s top jobs — opening the door to further bargaining before a summit next week.

Bloomberg
Published18 Jun 2024, 04:07 AM IST
EU Leaders Delay Top-Jobs Deal, Adding to Post-Election Turmoil
EU Leaders Delay Top-Jobs Deal, Adding to Post-Election Turmoil

(Bloomberg) -- European Union leaders postponed a deal on how to divide the bloc’s top jobs — opening the door to further bargaining before a summit next week.

Meeting on Monday, leaders from the 27 member-states had been expected to back Ursula von der Leyen for a second term as European Commission president, ex-Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa as European Council head and Estonian Premier Kaja Kallas as the EU’s top diplomat.

After several hours of informal talks in Brussels, however, the deal didn’t come together. Discussions will now continue before a formal gathering on June 27-28.

Dragging out the negotiations adds to uncertainty over the bloc’s leadership at a time when its two biggest countries, Germany and France, also have an uneasy grip on power at home. 

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz saw their parties trounced in European Parliament elections this month, with the outcome leading Macron to call snap parliamentary elections to begin at the end of June.

In advance of the talks, several leaders urged a swift accord on the jobs. “With all the challenges we have ahead of us, I think it’s important we take a decision as quickly as possible,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told reporters.

Any gridlock over the appointments could be costly for the EU, which is wrestling with how to maintain support for Ukraine, finance a ramp-up of defense spending and preparing for the possibility of another Donald Trump presidency in the US. 

It’s also in the throes of a new trade battle with China, which stepped up tensions on Monday by launching an anti-dumping probe on pork imports from the EU.

The postings, typically doled out on the basis of the outcome of the European Parliament elections and to balance geographical representation, will also need approval by the European Parliament. 

--With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak, Andrea Palasciano, Jan Bratanic, Ania Nussbaum, Michael Nienaber and Katharina Rosskopf.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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First Published:18 Jun 2024, 04:07 AM IST
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