Frans Timmermans, a Dutch social-democrat, has emerged as a front-runner for the leader of the European Union Commission.
Consultations for the top positions lasted nearly 20 hours but came to a close without a decision last night. It is the longest set of talks about EC candidacy in history.
Debates resumed today and Timmermans announced he would not be returning to the European Parliament. Instead, he aims to be appointed president of the European Commission.
Support for his candidacy is split. German chancellor, Angela Merkel, believes Timmermans would navigate a divided Europe well but leaders from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic made it clear they could not support him. Mateusz Morawiecki claimed ““Frans Timmermans is the candidate who is strongly dividing Europe….he certainly doesn’t understand central Europe, which is emerging now from the post-communist collapse.”
An optimistic morning which aimed to secure presidency nominations dwindled as deliberations were still ongoing late this afternoon.
The vote for the European Commission leader needs to be approved by the European Parliament which will take place on July 16.
And just as we wanted to hit ‘publish’ on this post it seems that the German Von der Leyen is the new favorite…. To be continued!