Macron, Merkel seek common ground on EU Commission president pick: official

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel don't want to show disagreement over the picking of the next president of the European Union Commission, an official from Macron's office said on Monday. Macron and Merkel want to get the process done 'ideally' in June, the official said, summarizing a telephone call between the two leaders. But the two leaders appear to have slightly different views on how to pick the Commission's new president.

Reuters May 28, 2019 01:05:57 IST
Macron, Merkel seek common ground on EU Commission president pick: official

Macron Merkel seek common ground on EU Commission president pick official

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel don't want to show disagreement over the picking of the next president of the European Union Commission, an official from Macron's office said on Monday.

Macron and Merkel want to get the process done "ideally" in June, the official said, summarizing a telephone call between the two leaders.

But the two leaders appear to have slightly different views on how to pick the Commission's new president.

Macron told Merkel he wanted the European Council to establish at a meeting on Tuesday that the system of the "Spitzenkandidat" to pick the Commission's president won't be automatic, the official said.

Merkel appears to prefer that system, however.

Macron is confident a majority of member states agree on that, the source said.

Macron added that the "Spitzenkanditaten" - the candidates to run the Commission who were designated by parties ahead of the European elections - are legitimate, though the selection of the new president must reflect the results of Sunday vote, the source said.

The third-largest group in the European Parliament, the liberal centrists to whom Macron's party belongs, must be part of the selection process, Macron told his German counterpart.

(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey and Inti Landauro; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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