JEF Europe on Spitzenkandidaten: “EUCO keep out - the Parliament decides!”

Brussels, May 28, 2019.

Today European leaders meet for the first time after the European Parliament elections, to discuss future “top-jobs” in the EU, with the number one vacancy being the President of the European Commission (POTEC, for short). All eyes in Brussels are on the informal meeting, mainly to see whether and how definitively the Council will reject the system of Lead candidates for the Commission (so-called Spitzenkandidaten), dearly supported by most in the European Parliament.

In the morning, the meeting of Parliamentary Groups’ Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the lead candidates process, all the while emphasising that a parliamentary majority would have to be built on a shared political programme first. Possible candidates would follow from there. Although this may not come a surprise to many, the European Council has broadly agreed that the appointment of the next POTEC be based on a number of criteria, with the future majority  in the European Parliament not ranking among key considerations.

“The next POTEC needs a majority in the European Parliament to ensure the legitimacy of the European Executive. As Young European Federalists, we are committed to maintaining the Lead candidate system as the democratic way of selecting the Commission President, instead of a mere intergovernmental nomination. The argument that without transnational lists the entire process would be rendered meaningless is in contradiction to well-established parliamentary traditions across the EU. The European Council would do better to nurture EU democracy by working with MEPs, the representative of the European people, than to consistently run against them. The future of Europe is with and by citizens, or won’t be at all”, stated Christopher Glück, President of the Young European Federalists [JEF Europe].

More information on JEF Europe
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO with 13.000  members active in more than 35 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.