Personnel package deal: Von der Leyen to remain in workplace – EU summit overrules Meloni | EUROtoday

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SThey wished to avert the drama on the final second. And save what may nonetheless be saved. Diplomats in Brussels mentioned late Thursday night that a number of European heads of presidency had known as Giorgia Meloni this week. But she didn’t reply the cellphone. The Italian Prime Minister, nonetheless, did converse to her parliament. She described the EU as a neighborhood within the fingers of oligarchs – by which she in all probability meant those self same heads of presidency. In specific, six males who awarded Europe's most necessary posts with out consulting Meloni.

This group consisted of two conservatives, two liberals and two social democrats, one among whom was German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The circle had already selected Tuesday: Ursula von der Leyen ought to once more be head of the EU Commission, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas must be overseas affairs consultant, and former Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa must be Council President. Meloni was not current on the talks. This induced a stir in Rome. Even Italian President Sergio Mattarella spoke up. “Italy,” he mentioned, “cannot simply be ignored.”

The EU heads of state and authorities did it at their summit in Brussels on Thursday. They mentioned the personnel issues over dinner, there was a three-course meal, summer time greens, sole fillet, nectarine and rosemary cake. Shortly after midnight, Chancellor Olaf Scholz lastly mentioned in a corridor within the European constructing that they’d agreed on von der Leyen, Kallas and Costa. “They are good people,” mentioned Scholz. “We can move forward quickly with them.”

Meloni had beforehand abstained from the vote on von der Leyen and voted towards Kallas and Costa.

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Die drei Kandidaten: Kaja Kallas, Ursula von der Leyen, Antonio Costa

Source: AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN

The Italian no less than didn’t vote no on the appointment of von der Leyen – which, in line with EU diplomats, would have been a scandal. So there was no drama on this night time in Brussels, even when Meloni had allegedly ignored her colleagues' calls earlier than the summit. But her abstention doesn’t bode nicely for future cooperation both.

Italy isn’t just any nation. It is the EU's third largest economic system and a member of the G7. It is a nation that may hardly be ignored. And but what has simply occurred in Brussels is just not with out precedent. Britain as soon as voted towards the appointment of Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the Commission. In the top, he was appointed anyway. “So we have a precedent,” says one negotiator. “The EU will survive.”

So now von der Leyen, Costa, Kallas. A conservative from the west, a leftist from the south, a liberal who represents Europe's north and east. Two ladies, one man. The trio ensures the mandatory steadiness within the EU. Party affiliation, geography, gender, every thing is taken into consideration. And even interpersonal relationships. Von der Leyen values ​​Costa – in contrast to the present Council President Charles Michel. That was necessary to the heads of state and authorities, they are saying. So that cooperation between the Brussels establishments works higher sooner or later.

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Von der Leyen and Michel work on reverse sides of the road in Brussels, she within the Berlaymont, he within the European constructing, however there are sometimes worlds between them. They argue about virtually every thing. How rapidly Ukraine ought to be a part of the EU. How to place oneself on the warfare within the Middle East. How a lot the economic system could be burdened with local weather legal guidelines. The rivalry between the Commission and the Council is more likely to finish with Costa.

No European treaty stipulates how Europe's high jobs are awarded. It is extra paying homage to the election of the Pope: a gaggle of highly effective individuals make the choice behind closed doorways, primarily based on traditions and handshake offers, not on written guidelines. But it’s not fairly as undemocratic as that sounds. Ultimately, within the case of EU posts, Parliament has to present its approval. That may occur in mid-July.

Von der Leyen wants the assist of 361 of the 720 MPs. So far, her Christian Democratic EPP has labored along with the Social Democratic S&D and the liberal Renew. Together, the teams have round 400 votes. But not all MPs within the three-party alliance are more likely to vote for von der Leyen. Therefore, she must woo one other group: both the Greens or the right-wing ECR. Meloni's occasion, the Fratelli d'Italia, is predicated there. The ECR rose to turn out to be the third strongest pressure after the European elections. But it nonetheless gained't get one of many three high jobs.

Kallas and Costa with issues

So, if Parliament elects von der Leyen, nothing will change on the high of the Commission. But with Costa and Kallas, two new individuals are coming to Brussels. Both have their benefits – and their issues.

Costa is a talented negotiator and hardworking. A person who delves deeply into dossiers and is aware of the main points. But there are additionally reservations. Costa is underneath investigation in Portugal. The suspicion: corruption. When it got here to awarding mining licenses for lithium and producing hydrogen, issues might not have been above board. Costa resigned from his submit as prime minister final November attributable to these allegations.

Estonian Prime Minister Kallas attracted consideration together with her assist of Ukraine. For instance, final yr she pushed ahead the – as but unrealized – plan to ship one million grenades to the nation. But some EU leaders now worry that Kallas, as chief diplomat, may focus an excessive amount of on the warfare within the neighborhood and neglect different areas of the world. For instance, the states of North Africa, that are supposed to assist Brussels restrict migration to Europe.

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This lengthy night time in Brussels was additionally about one thing else: the so-called strategic agenda. It units out the EU's political priorities for the following 5 years and – in contrast to the personnel package deal – needed to be determined unanimously. So with Meloni. A central level was protection. Additional investments of round 500 billion euros are wanted to guard Europe from threats from nations like China or Russia, mentioned von der Leyen, in line with summit members.

But the place is the cash supposed to come back from? Von der Leyen, it’s mentioned, has proposed, for instance, a rise in nationwide contributions and – not in these politically delicate phrases, however in spirit – a joint borrowing. Germany is strictly towards this, however Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania can nicely think about taking out EU loans.

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Before the summit, the 4 states known as for assist in securing their borders. The goal is to guard the EU from navy and hybrid threats, they wrote in a letter that WELT has seen and which is addressed to von der Leyen and Michel. By hybrid risk, the nations imply one thing like what Belarus has been attempting to do for a while: smuggling migrants from the Middle East and North Africa into the EU.

The heads of state and authorities adopted the strategic agenda on Thursday night time. The query of financing remained open. It is probably going to present rise to many discussions in Brussels within the coming months.

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article252244488/Personalpaket-Von-der-Leyen-soll-im-Amt-bleiben-EU-Gipfel-ueberstimmt-Meloni.html