Lithuanian president was among candidates for EC president – sources

  • 2019-07-03
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite was considered among candidates for president of the European Commission during the tense talks on key EU positions, sources in the European Council and European Parliament told BNS Lithuania.

One of the scenarios proposed to EU leaders in Brussels on Tuesday night was that if Grybauskaite had become president of the European Commission, Dutch social democrat Frans Timmermans would have been appointed president of the European Council, and right-wing German Manfred Weber would have become president of the European Parliament.

Eventually, none of the politicians was proposed for top positions after Central European countries and Italy objected to Timmermans' appointments and the European People's Party demanded to get the position of the Commission president.

It was one of over a dozen combinations discussed by EU officials during the talks started on Sunday. And the mentioned combination was disclosed by the EPP representative Weber during a meeting of the right-wing political group in the EP on Tuesday night, a politician present at the meeting later told BNS Lithuania.

EU leaders agreed on Tuesday night to propose German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen for president of the European Commission. Liberal Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel was proposed for president of the European Council, and socialist Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell was proposed for foreign policy chief.

Meanwhile, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was nominated for president of the European Central Bank.