Commentary EP elections

Did Macron offer foreign representative to V4 for their support?

French President Emmanuel Macron is said to have offered the Visegrád Group the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in exchange for their support of Macron’s candidate for the Commission Presidency, conservative daily Magyar Nemzet reports.

The position is currently held by Italy’s Federica Mogherini.

The meeting – held prior to the EU summit as a first attempt at finding a new Commission President – was attended by Macron, Andrej Babiš, Viktor Orbán and Peter Pellegrini. Macron, however, did not say who his candidate was for the position, only that he or she had to have sizeable political experience and a proven track record in national or EU politics.

Just minutes later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel again mentioned Manfred Weber – the EPP’s top candidate for the job – who may not qualify according to Macron’s criteria. So far Macron and Orbán have outright excluded Manfred Weber as a candidate and their ranks have been joined by António Costa of Spain and Pedro Sánchez of Portugal.

Several names for the position are being floated, but a candidate or candidates are only likely to be named at the next EU summit sometime in June, after the new power balance and alliances within the European Parliament have been established.

Title image: V4 leaders and Emmanuel Macron prior to the EU summit (MTI/Balázs Szecsődi)

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