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Marathon summit leaves Strasbourg reeling

Marathon summit leaves Strasbourg reeling
By Darren McCaffrey, Meabh McMahon, Jack Parrock
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The week was marked by controversies of behind-closed door deals and democratic deficits as EU leaders chose the next nominees to lead the continent into the next five years. It was also the first week new MEPs took up their seats and a fair few rhetorical fireworks ensued.


Welcome to Strasbourg and what a week - a week that could define the next 5 years of the European Union. After a mammoth 3 days of talks in Brussels - the 28 leaders finally came up with a package of names for Europe’s top jobs, for the first time it included two women , more than a few surprises and lots of Western Europeans .

But what happen to the Spitzenkandidaten process, none of the Parliament parties lead candidates secured a top job - the jobs instead they were divided out, in the back rooms of the Council building in Brussels - and it’s left more than a few MEPs frustrated.

But they did at least choose their President and the job past from one Italian to another David Sassoli.

"Parliament, Council and Commission must feel the duty to respond bravely to the call coming from young people when they tell us that we must wake up, open our eyes, save the planet. This is my message for them: consider this parliament, that today begins its activity, as your point of reference. Help us to be braver to face the challenges of this change," David Sassoli told the packed plenary.

But even in this new Parliament the same old issues are never far away including of course Brexit - and the action of two British parties leading some to claim they were juvenile, puerile and disrespectful.

"Well they struck up with the anthem, and we sat and the president of the parliament, the Italian Tajani said 'It is polite to stand for the anthem of other nations. So the cat's out of bag isn't it. He's calling it a nation. So we did what we were told, we stood, but we turned our backs. I'll tell you why, not because we reject a concept of a nation called the European Union, but because nobody else in the whole of rest of Europe has ever been asked whether that is what they want," Nigel Farage, Brexit Party.

Meanwhile outside on Tuesday thousands of Catalan gathered here to protest about the decision to deny three separatist MEPs to take their seats, as inside the chamber fellow MEPs placed photos of the missing members on their desks.

And as for next week, well we have another EU-Ukraine Summit in Kiev with the new President meeting Tusk and Juncker asking the EU remain steadfast on Russian sanctions. Crucial elections in Greece, which changed the direction of the heavily indebted country

All that and more with continuing coverage on Euronews and

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