EU leaders are set to meet for the first time since the election of Jean Claude Juncker as the next European Commission President.
The talks will decide other senior EU posts, with the question of who will replace foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton likely to be top of the agenda.
Italy’s Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini is seen as a frontrunner, despite some heavy criticism. Charles Tannock an MEP from the British Conservative party spoke to euronews and highlighted Italy’s close ties with Russia as a potential pitfall.
But others have leaped to her defence, Gianni Pittella, head of the socialist group in the European Parliament said the criticism was unfounded:
“I think that Federica is supported not only by the Italian government but also by socialist leaders. Some of the criticisms that have been leveled against her in the past hours are ill-founded, Mogherini is someone of experience and authority,” commented Pittella.