News ID: 253466
Published: 0509 GMT May 28, 2019

Merkel, Macron differ on who should be EU’s top executive

Merkel, Macron differ on who should be EU’s top executive

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron disagreed on Tuesday over who should be the next chief of the European Commission as EU leaders met to begin bargaining over candidates for the bloc's top jobs in the next five years.

An EU-wide election last week returned a European Parliament with a splintered center and gains by pro-EU liberals and Greens as well as eurosceptic nationalists and the far right, making agreeing a coherent agenda for the bloc trickier, Presstv Reported.

Macron listed the EU competition commissioner, Denmark's Margrethe Vestager, the bloc's Brexit negotiator, center-right Frenchman Michel Barnier, and Dutch Social Democrat Frans Timmermans appropriate candidates to be the head of the European Commission.

Merkel, on the other hand, said she supports the "Spitzenkandidat" system, adding that she backs center-right German lawmaker Manfred Weber to be the next head of the EU's powerful executive after Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker steps down on October 31.

The EU would risk an institutional logjam if talks drag on, leaving it unable to make pivotal policy decisions at a time when it faces a more assertive Russia, China's growing economic might, and an unpredictable US president.

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