Thursday, June 13, 2024

Hard-right forces eye top EU jobs as Poland heads to the polls

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The ECR is currently fifth among the seven political groups there, while POLITICO’s Poll of polls projects it attaining one spot higher, overtaking the Greens for fourth and within five seats of Renew Europe.

“We are most certainly looking at top jobs in EU institutions. It’s natural for the ECR to have responsibilities that reflect its weight among voters,” Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, a Polish Law and Justice party member of European Parliament, told POLITICO. 

According to a senior EU official, who like other officials in this story was granted anonymity to speak freely, the ECR is angling for an executive vice presidency of the European Commission — giving it a leading role in the EU’s ability to make laws. Though less likely, if it get the third position, the ECR could also seek the EU’s top diplomat spot, according to the official.

Top job nominations are made by European leaders, and EU treaties obligate them to hand these out according to the size or influence of political groupings. In practice, however, Commission presidents strive to reflect the balance of power in Parliament when they do name top officials. Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission, for instance, is led by the center-right European People’s Party, the largest group in Parliament, to which she belongs; with its three executive vice presidents from the EPP and the next-biggest groups, the center-left Socialists and Democrats, and centrist Renew Europe.

If ECR knocks out any of the top three groups, as it may well do with Renew, an executive vice presidency in the powerful Commission looms larger.

Speaking to POLITICO, Nicola Procaccini, an MEP with Meloni’s Brothers of Italy and co-chair of the ECR group, tempered these ambitions, calling them “groundless speculations” before any vote results on June 10 next year.

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