After each European election, the European Parliament tries to move its pawns a little further. 2019 is no exception.
The new step forward has already happened: the European Parliament’s opinion on EU top jobs was given before the European Council met.
The Social Democrats and Liberals parties have indeed informed the right-wing EPP party that they do not support Manfred Weber’s candidacy on Thursday morning, a few hours before the meeting between the heads of state.
The two centrist parties certainly did not do this without evaluating which jobs could be theirs in the end. Anyway, they gained visibility in the process that they did not have before. And they gave the final blow to Weber’s candidacy.
The European Council came up with a strange answer: in this case, no Spitzenkandidat can take over the leadership of the European Commission. Weber eliminated, the chances of Timmermans and Vestager would be mechanically strengthened. EPP refused that. The party intends to obtain the job of head of the European Commission, whatever it takes.
But the Council de facto acknowledged that it had to take its decision before the European Parliament met to “vote” for the President of the Commission on 2 July.
Then, for the first time, the new MEPs discussed a coalition programme, which could be agreed with the future European executive.
Above all, the Greens are pushing for the conditions for an ambitious climate plan to be put in place. The idea of feeding into the joint programme could lengthen the process of appointing the European executive. But it would seriously strengthen the role of the European chamber.