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Weber calls for Meloni’s inclusion in EU top jobs decisions

Group leader of the EPP party, Manfred Weber, speaks during an election event at the European Parliament in Brussels, Sunday, June 9, 2024.
Group leader of the EPP party, Manfred Weber, speaks during an election event at the European Parliament in Brussels, Sunday, June 9, 2024. Copyright Harry Nakos/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Harry Nakos/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Jeremy Fleming-Jones
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The leader of the powerful centre-right European People's Party called to integrate Rome into decision-making after complaints from Italy's Georgia Meloni.


The head of the powerful centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) has called for Italy’s inclusion in EU decision-making.

The news comes as EU leaders converge on Brussels for a top jobs summit which Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni has slammed as "undemocratic".

"Italy is the third largest country in Europe, a member of the G7, one of the largest European economies. That is why it is necessary to find a way to include the Italian position in the European decision-making process,” Manfred Weber told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview today (27 June).

Earlier this week the six negotiators of the main centrist parties – Poland's Donald Tusk, Greece's Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Germany's Olaf Scholz, Spain's Pedro Sánchez, France's Emmanuel Macron and the Netherlands' Mark Rutte – held a phone call reconfirming their preferred slate of candidates to lead EU institutions.

That included Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Commission, António Costa as president of the European Council and Kaja Kallas as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The decision followed an informal summit last week at which leaders failed to agree on the issue.

Exclusion from the process irked Meloni, however, who yesterday told the Italian Parliament she considered it “surreal” that during last week's informal meeting, names were proposed for top posts as the result of bilateral talks between parties, "without even the pretence of an open discussion".

“It seems to me that, so far, there's been an unwillingness to account for the message delivered by citizens at the ballot box,” she said of the substance of the deal.

Isolated within the European Council, Meloni is now considering a dramatic response, including abstaining from the final decision set to be taken by the European Council which begins later today, Italian media outlets have reported.

According to the EU treaties, such a decision can be taken by qualified majority – but by convention, leaders seek consensus when deciding on senior posts.

Elsewhere in the interview Weber called on leading European socialists – in a grand alliance with the EPP – to explicitly endorse von der Leyen as Commission President. “Scholz, Sánchez, Schlein must speak out publicly and give a clear direction to their delegations,” he said, referring also to Elly Schlein, leader of Italy's Democratic Party.

Weber said in the interview that he was the first European leader following Meloni’s election “to meet her and build bridges and invite her to be constructive at the European level”, and echoed comments of Italian President Sergio Mattarella, when he said: “In the EU you cannot leave Italy out of it.”

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