EU leaders gather in Brussels for informal dinner

The EU28 leaders yesterday discussed the outcome of the European Parliament elections held across Member States over dinner, expressing satisfaction that the 2019 EP elections witnessed the highest turnout ever in 25 years. The meeting was held to assess the outcome of the European elections and to kick off the nomination process for a number of top jobs at Brussels.

For starters, European Council President Donald Tusk interpreted the voter turnout of the European elections as proof of a strong, pan-European democracy, “which citizens care about”.

He said that whoever will lead the European institutions will have a genuine mandate from the people. At the same time, he added, this time around we will have a slightly more complex parliament, requiring at least three parties to form a majority. This also makes the European Parliament more representative. It will reflect a much greater diversity of views and national sensitivities. This is a truly democratic outcome, and I am personally very happy about it, he continued.

Mr Tusk also highlighted that some major Eurosceptic parties have abandoned their anti-EU slogans and presented themselves as EU-reformers.

EU kicks off top Brussels posts nomination process
The last session of the current European Parliament legislature will end on July 1, which will be followed by an inauguration ceremony of the new Parliament formation the next day which will see the 9th term start.

Yesterday, as part of the agenda, leaders also kicked off the nomination process to eventually fill top posts at Brussels.

Mr Tusk reiterated the Council’s stance that it will exercise its role when electing the Commission president, meaning – in accordance with the Treaties – that there can be no automaticity. At the same time, no-one can be excluded: being a lead candidate is not a disqualification, but on the contrary, it may increase their chances. European political parties nominate their lead candidates for the post of Commission president.

However, there are other appointments to be made, such as the European Council president, occupied by Mr Tusk himself, the president of the European Central Bank, as well as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, currently occupied by Federica Mogherini.

No names were divulged by Mr Tusk on those vying for the posts.

Statement by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat following yesterday’s informal dinner
At the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the discussions were fruitful and balanced. The EU, he added, needs to take decisions based on the Union’s diversity and a vision to unite the different players.

Photo shows: Prime Minister Muscat, European Council President Donald Tusk, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte prior to the informal dinner.

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