Germany's Scholz lauds the proposed new EU leadership and pushes for a decision this week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Germany's Scholz lauds the proposed new EU leadership and pushes for a decision this week

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz lauded the European Union's proposed leadership for the coming years as the basis for “a good European future” and urged his fellow national leaders Wednesday to agree on the package at a summit this week.

Three mainstream political groups have agreed that German conservative Ursula von der Leyen should get a second term as the president of the EU's executive Commission, while former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, a socialist, should take the helm of the European Council, the forum where the 27 member countries are represented. He would succeed Charles Michel in chairing EU summits.

The proposal would make Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, a staunch supporter of Ukraine and a pro-business liberal, the EU's top diplomat — succeeding Josep Borrell. It now needs the support of EU leaders, and von der Leyen will have to face a secret ballot in the European Parliament to win reelection.

“From my point of view, these make a good lineup and are clear decisions for a good European future,” Scholz told lawmakers in Berlin ahead of an EU summit on Thursday and Friday.

Scholz said he very much hopes that the summit will agree on the top posts. “We cannot afford an impasse in these difficult times; our citizens don't expect an argument about jobs, but quick work in the European institutions," he added.

The European Parliament elections earlier this month brought gains for the far right, notably in France and Germany, while those two countries' governing parties performed very poorly. In Germany, the mainstream conservative opposition bloc — to which von der Leyen belongs — was the strongest political force.

EU leaders failed to reach a final agreement on the candidates at an informal summit on June 17.

“Three out of four Germans, three out of four Europeans, don't vote for populist and extremist parties but for pro-European forces, and we are obligated to them — and that must not go under in the discussion now,” Scholz said.

“That's why I pushed for the commission not to make itself dependent in the (European) parliament on extremist and populist forces,” he added.

“That would have been a bad gamble; we need more unity and not less — so it's good that there is a clear majority for constructive and pro-European parties in the European Parliament, and I expect the future Commission to draw precisely on such a majority in the parliament.”

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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