Juncker in foreign minister appointment crux

EU leaders looked like they could not agree on who should be the bloc’s next foreign minister last night at a summit in Brussels.

It was unclear whether they would try again next week or leave all decisions until late August.

The problem is for European Commission president designate Jean-Claude Juncker in allocating jobs in his Commission over the next few weeks. The problem is about who to put in the job of foreign minister.

Russia has dominated the issue about who should be the Union’s next foreign minister and who will lead its prime ministers in the council. Yesterday afternoon it appeared that a package had been largely agreed, at least between Brussels, Berlin, London and Paris.

But before the leaders arrived for their pre-summit meetings, the deal had fallen through to have the Danish Socialist prime minister Hella Thorning-Schmidt to chair their meetings in future, and the former Estonian premier, Andrus Ansip, as the foreign high representative.

The Italians wanted their foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, in the job, so the package unwound very quickly. However, many of the central and eastern European Countries believe her and Italy to be too pro-Russian.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny on his way into the summit said “let’s see if Italy changes its candidate,” but its not clear if that would resolve the crux.

The Poles are furious at being left out. Their prime minister Donald Tusk would be acceptable to Germany to take over the as president, but his government would fall apart if he left.

His foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski had been tipped for the foreign job, but someone leaked a private conversation where he made very negative remarks about the Americans and the British.


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