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.
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)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.