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EU Summit: Power struggle to find next EU leader continues

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EU Summit: Power struggle to find next EU leader continues
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REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
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EU leaders hope to have their proposal for the next EU Commission president ready by the next summit on June 21, said European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday.

The leaders from the 28 member states were in Brussels for a summit that highlighted the wrangling among member states in choosing the next European Commission president following the European elections.

During Tuesday's informal dinner, however, no names were mentioned, according to Tusk.

"We did not discuss names tonight, only the process."

Jean-Claude Juncker's replacement — who will have the top job in the EU — must first be nominated by the European Council, which is made up of leaders from all 28 member states. This particular summit pits rival states (Germany vs. France) and even regions (north vs. south) against one another and it all begins over an informal dinner hosted by Tusk.

Gender balance 'ambition'

The Council president on Tuesday also said gender balance was his "personal ambition" when it comes to Commission appointments.

Tusk's preference was also highlighted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he wanted two women and two men for the top four EU posts.

This call could prove beneficial for current EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is the lead candidate with Macron's liberal ALDE & Renaissance alliance.

Brexit a 'vaccine'

Tusk also took on Brexit, saying: "I have no doubt that one of the reasons why people on the continent voted for a pro-European majority is also Brexit."

"As European see what Brexit means in practice, they also draw conclusions. Brexit has been a vaccine against anti-EU propaganda and fake news."

For a rundown of what happened, check out our blog below.