There is room to find a compromise for European Commission president among one of the leading candidates, says Iratxe Garcia

Following the European Council meeting yesterday, in which heads of state and government did not succeed in finding a compromise for the nomination of the next Commission president, the leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Iratxe García MEP, said:

“There is still room for manoeuvre. We call on national leaders to make an effort to find a compromise in the spirit of the EU Treaties and the European democracy. It was a big achievement for the European Parliament to have its role recognised in the Lisbon Treaty, and we must preserve the link between the majority in the European Parliament and the president of the European executive branch.

“The Lisbon Treaty also says that the European Parliament and the European Council are ‘jointly responsible’ for the smooth running of the process and that the relevant consultations ‘will focus on the backgrounds of the candidates’, and if we look at the background of the candidates, Frans Timmermans has a very strong one.

“We need to start working on policies as soon as possible, so we hope that the institutional blockage will be solved ahead of the Parliamentary plenary meeting on 2 July.

“We regret that some conservative heads of government tried to undermine the ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. This is precisely what we don’t need for the coming years: the fear to take the measures and reforms that the EU urgently needs. Moreover, we need a strong position on climate ahead of the UN summit in September. Let’s not waste more time with old politics!”

Note to the editors:

The Council has the duty to nominate a candidate to the Parliament, following ‘appropriate consultations’. Article 17(7) TEU also says that the proposed candidate is then to be ‘elected’ by a majority of the Parliament’s members (376 of 751 votes)