EU Parliament re-schedules election of its president

Current European Parliament President Antonio Tajani confirmed that the elections will be held at 9 am on Wednesday (3 July), and the various political groups have until 10 pm on Tuesday (2 July) to announce their candidates. [EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER]

The election of the European Parliament’s president was scheduled to take place during the inaugural session in Strasbourg. But the deadlock between EU leaders over the European Commission presidency has put that on hold. EURACTIV France reports.

As heads of state and government gather in Brussels on Tuesday (2 July) for the third attempt at negotiations on the EU’s top jobs – including the presidency of the European Commission – MEPs in Strasbourg were left playing the waiting game.

The European Parliament, which is holding its first session since the elections in May, needs to choose its president for the next two and a half years, and the successor to the Italian deputy Antonio Tajani (EPP) was initially scheduled to be elected on Tuesday (2 July).

However, the deadlock over the appointments for the EU’s top jobs between EU leaders in Brussels has already pushed the European Parliament to postpone the election of its own leader until Wednesday (3 July).

Tajani confirmed that the elections will be held at 9 am on Wednesday (3 July), and the various political groups have a tight deadline of 10 pm on Tuesday (2 July) to announce their candidates.

The political groups, expecting a signal from the summit between heads of states, have been left playing for time.

The option of Manfred Weber running for the EU Parliament presidency in case he does not secure the Commission presidency remains on the table, although the EPP does not seem prepared to give up the EU executive’s top job, despite speculation that the Socialists’ Spitzenkandidat Frans Timmermans could emerge as a compromise candidate.

EPP ready to sacrifice Weber to get EU Commission leadership

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In the socialists’ camp, the Italian David Maria Sassoli could be the group’s candidate, although it remains unclear whether they will even nominate a candidate for tomorrow’s vote.

Among the Greens, the fear of seeing the election of a president of the European Parliament postponed because of the summit talks has prompted the group to present a candidate, Germany’s Ska Keller. Keller is set to meet with the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group, in a bid to obtain their support.

“We insist on there being a vote on the president of the European Parliament this week. The Parliament needs to assert its position. Why wait for others? They cannot decide for us and let’s not forget that Parliament is autonomous and it is not up to the European Council to decide on who will become the EU Parliament’s next president,” Keller said at a press briefing in Parliament on Tuesday (2 July).

“There is no way we are waiting… I do not know how long the heads of state and government will continue discussing,” she added.

Locked in strife, EU leaders adjourn talks on top jobs for next morning

A summit of EU28 leaders was adjourned in acrimony on Monday (1 July) after almost 18 hours of talks failed to produce an agreement on how to carve out the bloc’s top jobs, due to opposition from Eastern member states and divisions within the conservative European People’s Party.

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