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EU to pick leaders for next term ofรำ อินโดนีเซีย office

jing, Washington take steps to r | รำ อินโดนีเซีย | Updated: 2024-07-19 19:04:29

The leaders of the European Union's 27 member nations are gathering in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday for the start of a summit to decide whether Ursula von der Leyen should be given a second term as the bloc's president.

Von der Leyen is in pole position to secure another five years at the helm of the EU's executive, the European Commission, after her center-right European People's Party won the most seats in the European Parliament in recent elections. But she will need the backing of a majority of the 27 national leaders at the summit before she can return to the job.

The secretive process of selecting a new Commission president is often fraught with horse trading, as national leaders try to secure key jobs for their diplomats and politicians in return for their support.

At the summit, the leaders will also select the next president of the European Council, who is widely expected to be Portugal's former prime minister Antonio Costa. Costa is from the center-left Socialists and Democrats party, which finished second in the recent elections.

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who is a member of French President Emmanuel Macron's liberal Renew group, is likely to be named the EU's next foreign policy chief.

The national leaders will also discuss the next batch of EU commissioners, a process that usually includes much talk about political affiliations and geographical representation.

The Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday that the European Parliament's three main centrist groups — the center-right, the socialists, and the liberals — have agreed a pre-summit deal to support Germany's von der Leyen and the appointments of Costa and Kallas, making their succession at the summit far more likely.

If their pre-summit agreement is successful, the EU would continue with a similar ethos in the coming term, despite a major upswing in support for far-right candidates among the EU's 373 million voters in the recent Europe-wide elections.

However, far-right national leaders, including Italy's Giorgia Meloni and Hungary's Viktor Orban, are understood to want more representation from far-right politicians at the EU's top levels.

"Instead of inclusion, it sows the seeds of division," Orban wrote on the social media platform X on Tuesday after news of the pre-summit agreement broke. "EU top officials should represent every member state, not just leftists and liberals!"

The Associated Press said von der Leyen may try to win Meloni's support by offering Italy an important EU commissioner position.

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