When Borissov met Frans: a deal in the making?

Bulgarian PM Office

The First-vice president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, meets the Bulgarian prime minister, Boyko Borissov in the Bulgarian Embassy, during the break of a EU Summit at midnght in Brussels, Belgium. 1 July 2019

When Borissov met Frans: a deal in the making?


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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov left the European Council meeting to meet Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans at the Bulgarian permanent representation at midnight, a video was posted on Borissov’s Facebook with him commenting on the status of the EU top jobs negotiations.

“A compromise is on the horizon in which (Manfred) Weber will take the Parliament and you will take the Commission, so I wanted to see from you,” Borissov’s told Timmermans through a translator.

The chances for a positive outcome to the deliberations have improved, judging by the video, with Timmermans a bit closer to the European Commission presidency than he had been at the start of the weekend when the European People’s Party (EPP) leaders rejected German chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to put a Socialist in the post.

“Compromise is taking shape. The Socialists are a systemic party, so is the EPP. It doesn’t matter who is up and who is down,” said Borissov, who added, “Frankly speaking, Weber has more experience in the Parliament. And you are the Vice-President of the European Commission. There are countries from Central and Eastern Europe [who are against this idea], but I told them I am convinced he is a man of principle.”

Timmermans responded that he has always worked well with Borissov and that they have had many frank discussions. He also praised his Bulgarian counterpart for his reforms and fight against corruption.

As the two were meeting, the European Council session remained suspended by its president, Donald Tusk, while several bilateral meetings with leaders remained ongoing.

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