European Union leaders' tentative deal on top jobs hits opposition in parliament

European Union leaders' tentative deal on top jobs hits opposition in parliament

Germany's streets were plastered with posters showing the faces of candidates for the EU's top jobs.

Yet the selection wrangles could portend difficulties ahead for Von der Leyen, now German defense minister, as she tries to marshal a strong and united European Union response to issues ranging from global warming to trade wrangling with Washington and Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Juncker, who steps down on October 31 as head of the commission, which proposes and enforces European Union laws, conceded that "it won't be easy in parliament".

Ursula von der Leyen was born in Brussels to a political family in 1958.

As he arrived at the summit on Tuesday, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis slammed Timmermans, who pushed a softer line on migration, as "absolutely unacceptable".

He will replace Poland's Donald Tusk in the role of European Council president for the next five years.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the nominations were "the fruit of a deep Franco-German entente".

He was elected to the Belgian Chamber of representatives in 1999, at 23, where he was the youngest MP in the House.

"Of course it's important who heads the European Commission, but we should not forget that legislative power in the EU isn't with the Commission, but with the Council and the Parliament", he said on Twitter on Monday.

The new parliament also opened on Tuesday, during which MEPs from the U.K.'s Brexit Party chose to turn their backs on a group of young people welcoming the new chamber in playing the "Anthem of Europe", based on the "Ode to Joy", from Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It also reveals how Merkel appeared to have lost her customary dealmaking clout in the second half of her final term.

Former SPD chief and Merkel rival Sigmar Gabriel went even further than Barley, telling Germany's Tagesspiegel daily that SPD ministers in Merkel's cabinet should block von der Leyen's nomination.

Possible candidates include German centre-right MEP Manfred Weber and Bulgarian socialist Sergei Stanishev.

French IMF chief Christine Largarde was selected to take over from Mario Draghi as head of the European Central Bank.

After three days of bitter wrangling, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen was named to replace Jean-Claude Juncker at the head of the European Commission for the next five years. In times of such crises, European institutions can easily lose credibility if leaders are unable to stand up to big member states.

Nearly a full day after sitting down to pick candidates for the European Union's prime political posts, tired EU leaders broke off their talks Monday amid deep divisions over who should run the European project for at least the next five years.

Their nominations will be sent to the European Parliament for approval.

Incoming President of the European Council, Charles Michel, until now prime minister of Belgium (albeit on an interim basis since December), also understands Estonia's interests, Ratas said.

He emphasised the importance of concluding negotiations before the election of the new president of the European Parliament (scheduled for Wednesday morning in Strasbourg).

"It's complicated and I don't know if we'll get it done tomorrow", said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

But there's a danger that when it's time for members of the European Parliament to vote, the issue of legitimacy will stick in their minds.

Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he had received a commitment from fellow leaders that a socialist would now lead the European Commission's Economics and Financial Affairs portfolio.

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