Manfred Weber appeared to cling to his bid for the European Commission presidency in an interview with Welt newspaper on Sunday. After his candidacy suffered a major blow at an EU summit on Friday, the German conservative urged EU lawmakers to push back against decisions made in "diplomats' back rooms."
"Citizens sent a clear signal by voting in the European elections. The turnout rose massively, in some places it doubled. It would be very disappointing now if major decisions in the European Union would take place in diplomats' back rooms," the European People's Party lead candidate told Welt.
"Now it is up to the MEPs. I really hope that the Socialist and Liberal MEPs show that they stand for Parliamentary democracy in Europe. It would be tragic if they put the interest of some capitals above the interests of a newly elected strong European Parliament," Weber continued.
Under EU rules, the member countries choose who will run the commission, replacing incumbent President Jean-Claude Juncker. The European Parliament must endorse that choice. But in recent years, the assembly has insisted that only the party leader candidates should be eligible for the post.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday the three so-called Spitzenkandidaten - or lead candidates - for the European Commission presidency had each failed to receive enough support among European Union leaders in Brussels.
“It appeared clearly this morning that there was no majority for Mr Weber,” Macron added.
In an attempt to break the deadlock, a special EU summit will take place on June 30. The bloc's leaders will have to agree on a candidate before July 2 when the European parliament's new MEPs sit for the first time.