Leaders from the EU’s 28 member states will meet in Sibiu, Romania, today as they seek consensus on candidates for a number of top jobs that will become vacant after European elections at the end of May.
The most prominent of these positions are the presidencies of the European Commission, European Council and European Central Bank. Efforts to coalesce around consensus candidates are likely to set up a clash with the European Parliament, which legally gives the final say on the official candidates. The unprecedented attempt by leaders to agree on a candidate for each position is expected to be controversial as it limits the European Parliament’s ability to perform oversight.
Most leaders are pushing this accelerated decision as European Parliament elections are expected to see the traditional centre-left and right parties lose their dominance to newer populist groups. Such a result could protract an already lengthy selection and confirmation process in the Parliament. The accelerated process is normally spread out over months, but the inclusion of the ECB presidency has created another fight for a top position. As a result, expect leaders to nominate a slate of three candidates, establishing a contentious confirmation with the Parliament.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.