Three televised debates have taken place which included the possible Presidents of the future European Commission, and now the European landscape is more complex than we anticipated.
Some conclusions and questions:
Ø It is impossible to believe that Manfred Weber may be the solution for present Europe;
Ø The only presidential candidates in the electoral confrontations were Socialist Frans Timmermans, Liberal Margrethe Vestager or even reformist Jan Zahradil, but none of them led the government of the country they come from;
Ø If we look at the composition of the Council, unimpeded by the European elections, we see a balance between ALDE, EPP and even the PES. We no longer have the situation of a dominant EPP, with a blocked majority of qualified decisions;
Ø How do we reward Ska Keller (Greens) and Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE) for their dedication to the two campaigns, in 2014 and 2019?
Ø How does Germany solve the problem of Manfred Weber?
Ø Not to forget the overall context, the EU is in crisis after this endless Brexit, so we need a strong European project;
Ø More than a project, credible leaders are needed to ensure consensus, not destructive polarization.
Allow me to present 3 scenarios of possible European majorities and the prognosis:
1. Pro-European Coalition (50%) - EPP, PES, ALDE and Greens. In this case, I keep with my forecast from two months ago: Angela Merkel at the Council (even if she now says she does not want that), the current Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Commission, Martin Schulz at Foreign Affairs, Michel Barnier at Defense (combined with Africa), Claude Turmes at Energy. And as a novelty, I suggest as President of the European Parliament Ska Keller for the first two and a half years, followed by Manfred Weber in the second part of the 5-year period.
2. Anti-EPP Coalition (25%) - Communists, PES, ALDE, Greens and even ECR. As a surprise, we can have an interesting combination with Jan Zahradil at the Council, Frans Timmermans at the Commission and Guy+Ska at the presidency of the European Parliament (2.5 years each).
3. The Right Coalition (25%) - EPP, ALDE and ECR. Merkel at the Council, Rutte at the Commission and Jan at the Parliament.
It remains to be seen what 28 May, the date of the first meeting of Heads of State after the European elections, will bring us.
Dan LUCA / Brussels