Plenković: EPP Is Entitled to Position of EC President

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 13, 2019 – The European People’s Party (EPP) is a relative winner of the European elections and wants its lead candidate Manfred Weber to become the European Commission President, while allowing for other offices to be filled by parties that have come after it in the elections, said Croatian Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenković in San Sebastian where the EPP was holding a meeting on Wednesday.

Our position in these negotiations is rather modest, and of all offices we want is that our candidate becomes the European Commission President, while other offices are at the disposal of the political groups that rank second, third or possibly fourth in the voting, Plenković said.

The EPP designated Plenković and Latvian PM Krisjanis Kariņs to participate in the negotiations with Social Democrats and Liberals on the appointment of new senior officials of the EU institutions. The Liberals designated Dutch PM Mark Rutte and Belgian PM Charles Michel, and the Socialists designated Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez and Portuguese PM Antonio Costa.

Those six negotiators are conducting an informal process so as to help the European Council and the European Parliament in the selection of nominees.

The Commission president should be elected first, followed by the Council president, the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, and the president of the European Central Bank. In doing so, attention should be paid to geographical, demographic, gender and political balances.

During today’s meeting in the Spanish seaport, Plenković informed the EPP group of the ongoing negotiations.

The process of selection of new leaders is more complex this time considering the fact that although they are still the most numerous groups in the new EP, the EPP and the Socialists are short of securing the absolute majority and therefore they are supposed to negotiate with other pro-European political groups, primarily the Liberals and the Green.

Asked by the press whether he was optimistic about reaching agreement on a set of appointments at the 20-21 June summit, Plenković said that he was realistic. “I am very realistic. This is a very complicated process. There is a plenty to do yet,” Plenković said, underscoring that any prolongation is not good.

Our voters expect us to take over responsibility for the coming five years, he explained.

He would not answer the question who might be the next Croatian member of the European Commission, explaining that it should first appoint the EC President who chooses commissioners in cooperation with their respective countries.

Plenković recalled that five years ago the current President Jean-Claude Juncker had accepted all the candidates proposed by the EU member-states.

More news about Croatia and the EU can be found in the Politics section.


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