After weeks of frenzied backroom wrangling, European leaders on July 2 nominated four federalists to fill the top jobs of the European Union. The nominations — which must be approved by the European Parliament — send a clear signal that the pro-EU establishment has no intention of slowing its relentless march toward a European superstate, a “United States of Europe,” despite a surge of anti-EU sentiment across the continent.
Following are brief profiles of the nominees for the top four positions in the next European Commission, which begins on November 1, 2019 for a period of five years.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the daughter of a prominent EU official, has been nominated to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission, the powerful bureaucratic arm of the European Union. Von der Leyen, of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), was a compromise choice after the candidacy of Manfred Weber, a favorite of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was rejected by critics, led by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron had favored the candidacy of European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, a Dutch Social Democrat. Timmermans, however, was rejected by the Visegrád Group — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — due to his frequent criticism of their stance against mass migration and judicial reforms.