EU summit top jobs race round two

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By Euronews
EU summit top jobs race round two

Brussels is gearing up for another EU summit.

European leaders will meet on Sunday to thrash out a deal over the team that will guide the bloc for the next five years.

The power game between the French and German leaders will be key to any breakthroughs. Paris is pushing for French Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, while Berlin is sticking to their German candidate MEP Manfred Weber.

"He's still the outright favourite I would say because he comes from the biggest political group, the European People's Party and he has the full backing of his group in the European Parliament," explains journalist, Jon Worth.

Another candidate for the job is Danish competition Commissioner Margrete Vestager - from the French President's political family.

"The problem is the Liberals only came in as the third largest group in the European Parliament after the elections, and so therefore they need to get a deal between that group and other political groups to get Vestager the job," Worth elaborates.

The puzzle of finding the right balance for the EU's top jobs is related to a complex system which requires a balance between political families, the geographical origin of the candidate and gender balance.

But for some the system for picking the next top ranking officials is unnecessarily burdensome.

"I have a revolutionary suggestion. Forget about parties, forget about geography, forget about countries, just get the best people for the jobs," remarks historian Timothy Garton-Ash. "At the moment, it is a kind of four dimensional crossword puzzle. East European, West European, man, woman, North, South, left, right and the result is you don't always get the best people for the job and at the moment Europe really needs the best people as we have got a lot of challenges on our plate."

The challenges facing the next leaders are tough - the battle over the next budget, rule of law concerns, migration and the future relationship with the UK.

But first another late night summit, which threatens to end up in a Breakfast meeting could finally see some names on the table - along with their toast.