Up for grabs: Four EU top posts

EU leaders plan June 30 meeting to agree on post nominations

Article written by Duncan Barry –  Executive, Communications and Events
Published on The Malta Independent – 27.06.19

The European Council has not yet agreed to who should serve in the four top EU seats which are up for grabs but did agree to another meeting planned for the end of this month. European leaders met in Brussels for the European Council meeting, on June 20 and 21.

One of the topics for discussion was tied to the nominations for the top four EU jobs that have been made available after the term of each appointment expired, however there were no names mentioned publically on who is vowing for the posts or who was mentioned during the meeting to take up such posts for that matter. What we do know for sure is that no consensus was found between EU leaders.

European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who is known for cracking jokes, said to the amusement of journalists that it’s no easy task replacing him. The three other posts available are for the President of the European Council which is currently occupied by Donald Tusk, the President of the European Central Bank and last but not least the high representative for the EU’s foreign and security policy.

Nominees require the support of at least 21 of the 28 EU leaders and a majority in the European Parliament – which will meet on July 2.

The EU’s priorities for the next five years
But that wasn’t all the European Council discussed during their two-day meeting, the first day of which continued into the early hours of Friday morning.

One salient issue that was discussed and adopted is the new European Strategic Agenda which, in layman’s terms, means the issues the EU should prioritise for the next five years.

Climate Change also formed part of the agenda. Leaders did not seal an agreement for a 2050 target date for all EU states to become carbon neutral. Prior to the European Council meeting, seven EU leaders met in Malta for the Summit of Southern EU states, one of the aims being for all seven to agree on a carbon neutral 2050 target. Worthy of note though is that the majority of states are willing to reach this target, as has been spelt out in the Council’s Conclusions document.

The European Council welcomed the work done under the Romanian Presidency and took note of the various elements of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, having called on Finland’s Presidency to pursue the work and to develop the terms of negotiations conducted by Romania during its six-month presidency. that basis, the European Council will hold an exchange of views in October 2019, aiming for an agreement before the end of the year.

On lessons learnt following the European elections with regard to disinformation and securing free and fair elections, the Council vowed to continue to assess such threats and respond accordingly.

EU pledges full support to those suffering injustices
The European Council reiterated its call on Russia to release the captured Ukrainian sailors unconditionally, return the seized vessels and ensure free passage of all ships through the Kerch Straits, in accordance with international law. Russia has ignored calls to release the sailors detained in November last year for allegedly entering territorial waters.

The Council also expressed its full support in establishing the truth behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which claimed 298 lives. Four suspects, three of them Russian, stand accused of shooting down the plane. The Council also condemned Turkey’s actions towards Cyprus due to current oil drilling activities deemed “illegal”.

In this article we’ve summed it all up, but if you’d like to read more of a formal European Council conclusions report, visit our website www.meusac.gov.mt (latest news section).

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