German chancellor Angela Merkel has shied away from fully backing Jean-Claude Juncker to be the European Commission’s next president.
Juncker is the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) candidate for the top job.
Despite winning more seats in the EU parliament than any other group, Merkel said that was not the only factor to consider.
‘‘Of course with regard to Jean-Claude Juncker’s candidacy it has been said several times that the important thing is which of the parliamentary group’s is strongest. But on the other hand we know that one group cannot decide on its own,’‘ she said.
Along with former Luxembourg premier Juncker, several other names outside the European Parliament’s chosen candidates are also being linked with the EU Commission presidency post including Denmark’s Social Democrat Prime Minister Helen Thorning-Schmidt
Another name in the frame is Finland’s PM Jyrki Katainen. He recently announced he was stepping down as head of government fueling speculation over a potential presidential bid.
Latvia’s former prime minister, Valdis Dombrovskis is another name being heavily tipped with a move to Brussels.
In a bid to increase democratic legitimacy Sunday’s election saw the parliament put forward several candidates to head the EU Commission, even though the 28 heads of state and government of the European Council could still propose its own name.