EU Parliament Strasbourg By Mehr Demokratie (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

EU Parliament Strasbourg By Mehr Demokratie (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

So, who gets the European Union top jobs now that the EU parliament has been formed? And will it affect the Brexit negotiations?

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There are big changes coming at the top of the EU, with power being transferred into the hands of those that many have never heard of.

The first of these is the President of the EU Council.

The interim Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel has been elected to take over in the post from the former Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk.

But the handover is due to take place on the 1st of December and lasts for a once only renewable term of two and a half years.

So, as the Brexit negotiations should only be lasting until the 31st of October and there are no large changes in the make up of the EU27 leaders before that, then whoever ends up as the new PM will be facing the same people as did Theresa May.

Charles Michel has also been elected by the EU Council as the President of the Euro Summit for the Eurozone countries for the same term of office.

The EU Council has also proposed that the German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, be the new and first female President of the EU Commission to replace Jean-Claude Juncker. This is subject to the approval of a majority vote of the EU parliament followed by being formally appointed after a qualified majority vote in the EU Council.

The term of the new Commission presidency starts five months after the new parliament starts and lasts for five years. So, if elected, Ursula von der Leyen would start her new job the day after Brexit day.

But hold fire on that one as there are reports that the EU parliament is not happy with this as they see it as a bit of a back-room stitch up – well it is the EU you know, let's watch and see if democracy prevails.

The EU Council has also proposed that the replacement for Mario Draghi as the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) should be the current head of the IMF Christine Lagarde.

Lagarde has said she will stand down temporarily as head of the IMF while the decision is being made.

If selected the term of office is for eight years and would start on the first of November, the day after Brexit Day.

Then there's the President of the EU Parliament.

The new members of the EU Parliament vote today, the third of July, for their new President for a two and a half year renewable term.

The four candidates are:

Ska Keller from Germany, Sira Rego of Spain, David-Maria Sassoli of Italy and Jan Zahradil from the Czech Republic.

The winner must secure an absolute majority of 50% of votes plus one or more.

The term is for two and a half years and the current holder, Antonio Tajani came into office on the 17th of January 2017, so one assumes the holder will start in two weeks on the 17th July.

So overall, while there are big changes afoot, the new post holders in the main do not start until after the current Brexit date of the 31st of October 2019.

So, in all, whether much will change in the Brexit negotiations on the EU side could be open to question.

Sources:

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/07/02/european-council-appoints-new-eu-leaders/

https://www.politico.eu/article/european-parliament-president-4-nominees/

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1148377/EU-news-European-Commission-president-Ursula-von-der-Leyen-latest-update

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