Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well, well... Actions don't lie. Everyday we hear flowery speeches about how important Europe and the EU are. About the benefits of multilateralism, European integration, blablabla... great.

And then they go and pull von der Leyen out of the hat. With all due respect, if the EU is that important then the EU commission must not be the thrift shop of settled mediocrity. Just where did Macron get the idea? He doesn't know her - ignorance will no longer be bliss.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Tue Jul 16th, 2019 at 09:33:01 PM EST
The Council (all heads of state) wants to retain most of the executive power and a "strong" Commission president would end up casting a shadow on them. Better have some pliable person, just like Juncker, or von der Leyen.
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 09:27:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it just me, or has the European Council become much more active, assertive and powerful with respect to the Commission since the appointment of a full time President of the Council, and in particular, since Tusk got the job? It may be that it is just a consequence of Brexit dominating the agenda so much, where A.50 gives the Council the decisive role.

There was talk, at one stage, of combining the two roles to create a "President of Europe" to answer the Kissinger question of who do you talk to in Europe if you need a quick decision on an urgent matter; but I suspect that idea was abandoned when they realized it would have to be a directly elected position if it were ever to gain much legitimacy. One look at the US system of electing presidents would have been enough to put them off that idea.

But it is clear that while the position of President of the Council is reserved for a current or former prime minister or President and member of the Council, almost any cabinet minister of a major power has a chance of becoming President of the Commission. Of the 12 Presidents of the Commission prior to VDL since 1967, only Barroso and Prodi were previously Prime Ministers (Italy have rather a lot) if you discount the two Prime Minsters of Luxembourg - Santer and Juncker - who don't really count...

So a senior cabinet Minster of a major power is more or less par for the course for Commission President, while only Prime Ministers need apply for the Council job, even if they are often on the way out in their home countries...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 10:32:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the Kissinger question

Shouldn't that be who do you talk to in the US?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 10:33:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NO. In Kissinger's eyes, that would be Kissinger. Even long after he had retired...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 10:37:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here a little more background information from the english version of der Spiegel: Does Von der Leyen Have a Chance as Commission President? this was writing before yesterdays vote.
by Fran on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 12:47:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent article...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 02:12:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like VDL has been looking for a Commission job for quite some time, but might only have been expecting the German Commissioner or Foreign and Security chief roles. Macron and Visegrád support seems to have been pivotal in her election - helped by her Atlanticist and anti-Putin views. Given the SPD failed to support her, her EP victory by a narrow margin is hardly surprising.

Her recent support for a further Brexit extension might put her at odds with Macron though. Boris shows every sign of fluttering away what little time is left before end-October... Tusk's admonition not to waste the current extension shows every sign of being ignored. It will be ironic if the UK ends up being kicked out despite wanting a further extension. Only an imminent general election would be sufficient reason for Macron, I suspect.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 02:46:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I've written before, the EU's decisions regarding Brexit often end up with some sort of compromise (and kicking the can down the road). It's not always about what Macron wants.
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 05:18:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An A.50 extension requires unanimity - any one head of Government can block it, and Macron was the most reluctant to go along with the majority last time.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 06:47:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least that was his public position. Who really knows. They already demanded last time that the UK give a good reason to get more time and May just wrote a letter that they'll have to vote a few more times on her deal. And the last prolongation lead to Schrödinger's parliament with a Brexit and non-Brexit state overlapping. I suppose at some point there will be an accident but I really don't believe the EU will push the UK out.
by generic on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 07:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed a more than average article ... Der Spiegel is known for pushing an agenda, so who knows the real order of affairs during the talks and the MEP votes. Fran's post and article just blew away my new diary to be with the title:

Macron's Symbolism of Quattre Julliet


European Defense Pact: Macron and Von Der Leyen

Related reading ...

U.S-Hungarian Relations: 4th of July Bash
Martin Selmayr 'Raus'

Center-right nominee becomes EU Commission President - counting the votes | Politico |

Von der Leyen had the declared backing of the three mainstream, pro-EU groups -- the center-right European People's Party, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats (S&D), and the centrist-liberal Renew Europe group.

However, the S&D group was sharply divided over whether to back von der Leyen, with the French,  German, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, and Greek delegations all saying in an internal group meeting that they would vote against her, according to a party official. The Spanish and Portuguese delegations, pressed by Prime Ministers Pedro Sánchez and António Costa, said they would vote in favor.

In a sign of how thin and fragile her mandate appeared, she also immediately faced questions about the possibility that her majority, which included the support of some British MEPs, would effectively evaporate in the event that the U.K. completes its departure from the EU.

Miscalculation by Dutch PM Mark Rutte: an Atlanticist, conservative and long-time Theresa May supporter ...

News Analysis: Strong signal by northern eight unlikely to be game changer in eurozone reforms
Due to Brexit, smaller countries fear French and German dominance

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jul 17th, 2019 at 08:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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