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How are the EU's top jobs decided?

brussels bureau

How are the EU's top jobs decided?


What does it take to be picked for a top job at the EU?

Most of the candidates for positions at the European Commission are officials looking to leave domestic politics behind.

But who calls the shots on who gets what?

Officially, EU member states vote together.

The result is decided by qualified majority.

In reality, the answer lies at the end of the road to Berlin and with Germany’s Angela Merkel.

“I think that no decision can be taken against her, that’s how I would formulate it and I think she’s the one who in the end will be determining in which direction this is going,” said Janis Emmanouilidis of the European Policy Centre.

EU leaders will have to seek a consensus on who gets what policy area: foreign policy, trade, competition or economic affairs.

But a candidate’s CV is not the only factor.

There are criteria to take into account.

“At the end there will be a package involving all these different posts with all this different criteria, north-south, east-west, young-old, euro-non euro, female-male,” said the EPC’s Emmanouilidis.

Then there’s the ‘British’ elephant in the room.

The UK bitterly opposed Jean Claude Juncker becoming the next Commission president.

British diplomats say David Cameron will seek a top economic post in return.

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