The EU Reached a Dead End

02.07.2019

Flouring with the election of the new EU leadership means that the community is not able to nominate strong leaders and that the contradictions between its members are too serious

The head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, suspended the work of an emergency EU summit in Brussels because of the inability of the member states to agree on the candidacies of the new community leadership. It happened on Sunday late in the evening. Since then, Tusk, a clever diplomat, has led so far fruitless bilateral negotiations with individual EU leaders to come to a compromise. The summit will resume when it is found. Insiders do not hide the fact that "everything is bad and the leaders are stumped."

This was understandable even before the discussion of nominations began. At least by how reluctantly European leaders gathered for an emergency summit. It began with a delay of three hours and with complete uncertainty. None of the candidates are able to gain the necessary number of votes. Leaders of countries are grouped according to their interests and block applicants that they do not like. In connection with the split in the EU on a number of cardinal problems, like a migration crisis or in relation to Russia, these are very serious differences.

What and who is at stake?

The heads of state and government of 28 EU countries are trying to coordinate candidates for the five key posts that will lead the community in 2019-2024 and determine which way the EU will go. Will it be its maximum expansion while maintaining a loose structure, as it is now? Or will it be a “two speed Europe”? This concept, to which Paris and Berlin, along with a number of developed Western European countries such as Holland, are envisioning accelerated integration of the EU core in the interest of turning it into a European superstate as soon as possible and marginalizing the “new Europe”, which will have to pay for its distinctiveness and political obstinacy of life.

This is the third attempt to resolve the issue of the future EU leadership. The first time it was discussed at an unscheduled summit on May 28. The second - at the summit of June 20-21. And both times to no avail.

European leaders are to simultaneously replace the current European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federico Mogherini, European Central Bank Chairman Mario Draghi, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani. Except for the latter, the powers of these figures (Luxemburg, Pole, two Italians and Italian) will last until October 31. The mandate of Tayani expires on July 2, so that the European Parliament, if no one is elected in its place, will be decapitated for a time.

What is behind the scenes?

The main struggle unfolded for the post of the new head of the European Commission. The countries of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic), together with Italy, did not agree with the compromise reached on this issue by Germany and France. Its result was the nomination of the Netherlands Social Democrat Frans Timmermans. The countries listed fear that this proponent of the European reformatting of Europe will leave them without EU funds to level off development for refusing to accept pseudo-refugees. They are also not satisfied that the representative of Germany, which does not inspire much confidence in Manfred Weber (CSU), whose candidacy is supported by the "refugee chancellor" Angela Merkel, has been asked to head the European Parliament, as part of the agreement reached with Paris, for two more terms.

Weber, who keeps his nose downwind as a political opportunist, likes the "new" Europeans only because he opposed the Nord Stream - 2, although, apparently, only so that they would support him. Timmermans was wronged in the eyes of the Visegrad Group and especially Warsaw by the fact that, being the first deputy chairman of the outgoing European Commission, he oversaw the investigation of violations of European norms during the reform of the Constitutional Court in Poland.

When Tusk realized that Timmermans was not gaining the necessary number of votes, he proposed three more candidates instead of him, including European Commissioner for Budget and Personnel Kristalina Georgieva. None of the proposed candidates passed ...

Recent data

As a result, the Dutchman Timmermans is still the most likely candidate for the post of head of the European Commission, but he still doesn’t have the necessary number of votes. According to information from the forum’s lobbies, Georgiy Georgiev has an advantage when considering candidates for the European Council head (instead of Tusk), German Weber for the head of the European Parliament (instead of Tayani), Belgian Charles Michel and Danish Margrethe Vestager for the head of European diplomacy (instead of Mogherini). The question of who will lead the ECB instead of Draghi will be relegated to the background. This position is probably kept in reserve to reach a final agreement. In general, bargaining continues. The EU emergency summit has already become the longest in the past 15 years. Apparently, all appointments will have to be completed in the complex. Most countries support this approach. It is also not clear whether the summit will be able to approve the new EU leadership unanimously or will be forced to resolve this issue by a qualified majority. It is also not clear when this will happen. It is clear that it is no longer today.

Conclusions

All this suggests that the EU is not able to nominate strong leaders, that it does not have them at all, and also that the contradictions between the countries - members of the community are very serious. As a result, when the crisis ends in one way or another, the EU will become even weaker.