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How are the EU's top jobs filled and when? | Euronews explains

Current Commission President Juncker and Council President Tusk
Current Commission President Juncker and Council President Tusk Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Jack Parrock with Reuters
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The inevitable horse-trading has begun as candidates vie for top EU jobs including president of the Commission, EU Council and European Central Bank.


Following the European elections, EU leaders are now starting their discussions over who will take over some of the top jobs in the European Union. 

The process will be a compromise between requirements of geography, political affiliation, gender, as well as the candidates’ own profiles.

**Watch the video in the player above as Euronews' Brussels correspondent Jack Parrock' explains to be filled. **

EU's top job: European Commission president

The top job, currently occupied by Jean-Claude Juncker. The commission is the executive branch of the European Union, setting the policy agenda and directing the civil service.

The spitzenkandidat system traditionally sees the European party with the most votes have its spitzenkandidat (lead candidate) chosen as the new Commission president.

Read more: European elections 2019: What is a spitzenkandidat?

As the candidate for the European People's Party (EPP), Manfred Weber is the front-runner. But the results of the EU elections, which saw the EPP lose its grip on power somewhat, could cause issues.

French president Emmanuel Macron and the Hungarian government are both opposed to his candidacy.

This could pave the way for other candidates, including Margarethe Vestager who is the current European Commissioner for Competition, social democrat Frans Timmermans, and outliers such as Michel Barnier.

European Council president

Chairs the leaders of the member states, deciding on their position and consequently influencing the political direction of the EU.

The current council president is Donald Tusk, the former prime minister of Poland. The council president is elected by the council by a qualified majority.

Read more: Europe's 'Game of Thrones' begins as EC President appointment looms

Other key posts

Another important position up for grabs is the European Central Bank presidency, currently held by Mario Draghi. His successor will be chosen by the European Council.

A decision will also be made on who will replace Federica Mogherini as High Representative for Foreign Affairs, as well as who will succeed Antonio Tajani as EU Parliament president.

Timeline: Filling the EU's most powerful position

  • May 28 - Various national leaders hold private talks, before they meet for a dinner to debate jobs.

  • June 20-21 - Leaders aim to agree on Juncker’s successor and that of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. They may also agree who will succeed Tusk himself as president of the European Council and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

  • July 2-4 - New Parliament convenes in Strasbourg. It should choose its own president to succeed Antonio Tajani on July 3 — another job in the mix for the bargaining over key EU posts.

  • July 16-18 - Parliament sits again in Strasbourg. This is the earliest it could endorse a new Commission president.

  • July-August - If a Commission president is agreed, he or she would then build an executive team, taking one commissioner from each member state and giving them portfolios. If there is no deal on a successor, then more summits may be needed. In 2014, Tusk and Mogherini were nominated at a summit in late August.

  • October 22-24 - Parliament due to vote in Strasbourg to confirm the new Commission as whole. It can withhold its endorsement.

  • November 1 - The Commission is due to take office. If it has not been confirmed by Parliament, Juncker’s team would carry on. Draghi’s successor is due to take over the ECB in Frankfurt.

  • December 1 - Tusk’s successor due to take office at the Council.

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