Press Advisories

29. 5. 2019 16:24

EU leaders discussed the post-electoral situation, according to PM Babiš, expertise should be the key to filling the positions

Premiér Andrej Babiš seznamuje novináře na tiskové konferenci s výsledky jednání lídrů Evropské unie, 28. května 2019.
Premiér Andrej Babiš seznamuje novináře na tiskové konferenci s výsledky jednání lídrů Evropské unie, 28. května 2019.
On Tuesday, 28 May 2019, an informal working dinner of heads of state and government of the European Union member states was held in Brussels, attended by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. The key theme of the meeting was evaluation of the results of the weekend elections to the European Parliament and a debate on the new appointments to key positions in the EU bodies. The personnel issues should be discussed by the EU-28 leaders at the June meeting of the European Council.

Representatives of EU member states appreciated the record-high turn-out in the European Parliament elections, which was the highest for the last 25 years. "It is positive that pro-European parties won. We can also say that the dominance of the People's Party and socialists has ended so the next Parliament will need more than two parties to vote, which was the tradition in the past," said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. The new European Parliament will be first convened on 2 July and is expected to elect its new President.

The politicians spoke mainly about personnel nominations to the top posts in key European institutions - Presidents of the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission, the new President of the European Central Bank and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. "We stated that the appointments to the key institutions should be agreed at the same time, and that the selection of the new President of the European Central Bank is, of course, a matter of the euro zone member states, and the person must have an entirely different profile, non-political," the Prime Minister specified.

Nevertheless, the European Union leaders have not agreed so far on any names and the member states have not even found consensus on whether those posts should be filled by lead candidates of the strongest fractions (spitzenkandidats) or whether it should be personalities with the highest qualifications, without a link to the election results. "I also stood against spitzenkandidats. We argue that it is necessary to consider the expertise and also the balance, e.g. geographical or political. Some states, such as the Benelux countries, also speak about gender balance. That there should be two women and two men. We say that there can be even three or four women but their qualifications are primary,“ Prime Minister Babiš stated.

The Czech Prime Minister envisages the future President of the European Commission, the key EU body: "It should be a quality candidate, with a professional profile and, of course, experienced. And should substantially change the relationship between the European Council and the European Commission," he said.

The European Council members agreed that they would continue to negotiate intensively on the manner of filling the key positions. A binding decision on the nominations should be made at the upcoming June meeting of the European Council on 20 and 21 June in Brussels.

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