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EU leaders to decide top jobs sharing deal at Brussels summit

The agreement on the top jobs was negotiated among the centre-right European People’s Party.

• June 27, 2024
European Union
European Union

EU leaders are set to agree on a package deal to divide the European Union’s top jobs at a two-day summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

The pre-packaged pact, informally agreed upon among EU leaders and confirmed by DPA, would see current European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen nominated for a second term.

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa should be the next European Council president and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is to be the EU’s new foreign policy chief.

The agreement on the top jobs was negotiated among the centre-right European People’s Party, the centre-left Socialists and Democrats group and the liberal Renew Europe group.

The EU’s top jobs were shared out after European Parliament elections in an intricate process meant to account for the results of the vote, according to the EU treaties.

In practice, the path to power is more complicated and national and European politics took over, with EU leaders haggling over their preferences to fill the bloc’s most important policy positions.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has pushed hard for her far-right party’s results in the European elections to be recognised and harshly criticised the process to divide up the jobs.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also hit out at the deal.

In a post on X, the conservative prime minister said, “EU top officials should represent every member state, not just leftists and liberals.’’

The three names were the front runners for the roles over a week ago in Brussels, the last time EU leaders tried to reach a deal amongst themselves.

But they did not reach the finish line.

After her nomination by EU leaders, Ms von der Leyen needed to be elected to the commission by a majority in the European Parliament in the coming weeks.

The EU legislature must also approve Kallas for the role of EU foreign policy chief.

Mr Costa does not require parliamentary approval to assume his role as European Council president.

EU leaders are also set to debate the Israel-Hamas war, financing the defence industry, economic competitiveness, and adopting a strategic agenda for the next five years.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is also expected in Brussels to sign a security agreement with the EU and to brief EU leaders on the situation on the front lines in Ukraine.


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