The European Union will soon have a new leadership team. Here are the names

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has urged a risk reduction policy towards China.

Frederik Florin | Episode | Getty Images

BRUSSELS, Belgium — European diplomats have already begun key negotiations over who will take over the top European Union jobs after next month’s elections.

Voters in the EU’s 27 member states will go to the polls between June 6 and 9 to elect the next group of representatives to the European Parliament. The very best EU jobs, which are not directly chosen, are distributed in the following weeks. They control central policymaking and Brussels ultimately influences the livelihoods of 450 million people across the region.

Diplomats within the EU are already trying to figure out who will be in charge of the three major institutions in the coming years: the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament.

Three top officials, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the talks, told CNBC that the most likely scenario is that Ursula von der Leyen, the current president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, will be in the job to stay.

Von der Leyen was catapulted to the top of European policymaking in 2019, when French President Emmanuel Macron threw her name into the ring to break an impasse over an overall ‘top jobs package’ that would see Christine Lagarde become the new president of the European Central Sofa was.

“Von der Leyen has strong support from European heads of state,” one of the three sources told CNBC by phone.

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However, the same source added that Macron, the mastermind behind the previous round of negotiations, has not yet expressed his support for a new mandate from von der Leyen and the source suggested that he will have some room for maneuver if official talks begin after the elections. election.

In fact, Bloomberg reported this that Macron has floated the idea of ​​returning the previous ECB president, Mario Draghi, to EU politics and leading the commission.

A senior EU diplomat told CNBC that Macron is using the silence to put pressure on Von der Leyen. The third source said Draghi was unlikely to take the job but agreed it was a way to put pressure on Von der Leyen. CNBC contacted the Elysee Palace but was not immediately available for comment.

Current opinion polls show that Von der Leyen’s party, the conservative European People’s Party in the EU Parliament, is likely to win elections across the EU, but may have to make some compromises with far-right politicians as they preparing for more elections. the number of seats within the parliamentary chamber.

The three sources also told CNBC that if Von der Leyen remains president of the European Commission, the expectation is that a member of the European socialist group will lead the European Council, the institution that brings together heads of state from around the world. EU countries.

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen are the two names currently being discussed in Brussels.

In typical Brussels fashion, which seeks to divide top jobs among the most voted for parties, this selection would leave the role of High Representative, the EU’s top diplomat responsible for foreign relations, to the liberal group Renew. Here, Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister of Estonia, is seen as the most likely candidate.

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With just a month to go before voters go to the polls, talks about how to distribute the next top jobs are intensifying. However, the final decision will only be made once the results are in.

Regardless of who leads the EU, policymaking in Brussels over the next five years is expected to focus much more on defense and on how to reduce certain dependencies on China and, to some extent, on the US.


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