Highlights: EU leaders meet to decide on bloc’s top jobs, Timmermans frontrunner

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Highlights: EU leaders meet to decide on bloc's top jobs, Timmermans frontrunner


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders meet on Sunday to decide who wins the bloc’s top posts, with Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans in pole position to be named the EU’s next chief executive, diplomats and officials said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the media ahead of a European Union leaders summit that aims to select candidates for top EU institution jobs, in Brussels, Belgium June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

Following are comments by EU leaders as they arrived for the summit in Brussels.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

“We will make our proposal for the Commission presidency and we will also discuss other top jobs. It looks like the talks will not be very easy.”

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY (ON BREXIT)

“I have always been very clear that I think the best approach for the UK is first of all ensure that we are delivering on the vote that took place in 2016, leaving the European Union but we do that with a good deal so that we can do that in an orderly way. I still think we negotiated a good deal. I wasn’t able to get a majority in parliament for that deal, it will be up to my successor to get that majority, deliver on that vote and take us forward.”

POLISH PRIME MINISTER MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI

“Frans Timmermans is not a candidate of compromise. Frans Timmermans is obviously a candidate who divides Europe and certainly does not understand central Europe, does not understand Europe that is emerging from a post-communist collapse.”

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON

“It’s important for me that we are able to emerge from this Council with answers and the new team.”

“This is the new team that we are going to decide on, for three of the names today, for the ECB probably a little later.”

“There should be two men and two women (referring to the council of EU leaders who is responsible for nominating four key positions – including the president of the European Commission and the president of the ECB).”

DUTCH PRIME MINISTER MARK RUTTE

“I hope that we make a decision tonight. And that we don’t just get to a choice about the chief of the European Commission but if possible to a whole package.”

“Yeah, I’m not going to talk about names, I also hear all kinds of rumors. We’re going to try to get a decision tonight.”

“That you think that one candidate or another may have a chance and then that appears to change again. So we’re going to calmly wait tonight.”

“It’s still really unclear who will become the President of the Commission. The fact is in Osaka there were a number of European countries, who of course also talked about the situation, but there are no concrete compromises on the table.”

Slideshow (5 Images)

CZECH PRIME MINISTER ANDREJ BABIS

“The V4 (Visegrad group of central European countries) said at the beginning that we are against the Spitzencandidaten.”

“(Timmermans for Commission president?) I’m afraid that this person is not really the right one to unite Europe, not divide it more. In the past we have a feeling that it was not very positive on our region and I am asking: where are the women?”

Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey, Robin Emmott, Andreas Rinke, Daphne Psaledakis, Alexandra Regida, Peter Maushagen, Belen Carreno, Francesco Guarascio and Foo Yun Chee



Reuters: Top News – Highlights: EU leaders meet to decide on bloc’s top jobs, Timmermans frontrunner

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