EU citizens are only eight months away from going to the polls to decide who will be the successor to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly thrown her support behind the head of the European People’s Party (EPP) at the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, to take over for Juncker. Merkel has thus far opted not to make any announcements, but rather to quietly spread the word that she’s given the nod to Brussels veteran Weber. No official decisions have been made as of yet as the process of nominating a lead candidate for the EPP will begin next week, with an official announcement set for November.
The 46-year-old Weber, however, does not appear to the only the favourite for the EU’s top job. Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb and the European Commission’s chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, have also emerged as possible candidates. Germany’s Christian Democrats have floated the country’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen as potential options.
Paris wants Vestager
French President Emmanuel Macron appears to be throwing his support behind Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager as his choice to head the new administration. Though the Danish politician comes from a non-eurozone Member State, her tireless work to crack down on major corporations – including Google, Apple, Microsoft – who have consistently violated European Union laws have put her in a powerful position to be strongly considered to lead the Commission.