The Brief: EU top jobs debate sparks anger in Strasbourg

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By Jack Parrock
Ursula von der Leyen
Ursula von der Leyen

New MEPs, their first ever debate. Launched by freshly elected European Parliament president David Sassoli. One topic dominated the speeches.

"We need to democratise the process of electing leaders in the EU," Dacian Ciolos - Renew Europe Group Leader.

Across the political spectrum in the European Parliament, condemnation that leaders are nominating Ursula von der Leyen to take Europe’s top job of European Commission president, and not the lead candidate from the party which won the most votes in the May’s elections under the so-called Spitzenkandidaten system.

Scorn, even, from von der Leyen’s own political family.

"We believed before in the Spitzenkandidaten process and we still believe in it. And let me tell you, in 5 years we will still believe in it. Because we prefer ballots rather than closed door deals," González Pons - EPP leaders in the European Parliament

And while Green ambition s for the next term featured heavily in the speeches, with it unclear if the UK will leave the EU on October 31st, British Brexit MEPs continued the shouting they’re known for.

"That’s what you do here, that’s why we’re going. Nous Allons, Wir Gehen, We’re off," Ann Widdecombe - Brexit Party MEP

And after the bashing MEPs gave EU leaders for their top jobs selections  Donald Tusk - Outgoing EU Council President struck a conciliatory note.

"I would like our two institutions to cooperate in the best possible way so I will refrain form any comment."