EU leaders near to reach consensus on top posts, diplomatic sources

The agreement still to be finalised, talks will resume tomorrow

Photo: EPA A journalist takes a break during a long night of negotiation at a Special European Council in Brussels, 1 July.

European Union leaders are close to picking Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans to head the European Commission, two diplomats said on Monday after the longest ever set of talks at an EU summit, news wires reported. “We’ve got it. Timmermans goes to the Commission,” one of the diplomats from a leading European power told Reuters.

Under an agreement still being finalised by the 28 national leaders, centre-right Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian member of the European People’s Party (EPP), could become president of the European Council, the sources added. Belgian PM Charles Michel was however also being linked to that post. The Council defines the European Union’s broad political direction and priorities.

Manfred Weber, who the EPP had wanted to lead the executive Commission but who faced strong resistance from France and Spain, looked set to head the European Parliament, the diplomats said, though perhaps for just half of the usual five-year term.

The discussions were still being concluded, the officials said, adding that last-minute changes were still possible. The Brussels talks, which began with informal negotiations at 4 pm on Sunday, will resume on Tuesday at 11 am (0900 GMT), European Council President Donald Tusk's spokesman Preben Aamann wrote on Twitter.

 

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