For the first time, there is a substantive debate on the strategic direction of the next five-year cycle at the today’s half-day informal summit in Sibiu, with EU27 leaders whispering at the same time as the nomination procedure following the European elections in late May. Donald Tusk, President-in-Office of the European Council, is expected to announce that he will convene an extraordinary summit in Brussels two days after the EP vote, “Bruxinfo reports in advance.
Romania is the EU presidency in this semester, so an informal EU summit will be held in Sibiu, a Transylvanian city, which was proposed by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission last autumn, to wait until the end of March. lagging behind – after EU exit, EU leaders exchange ideas on the future of Europe.
Today’s meeting is about the Europe Day today, 9 May, and so it is timely to discuss the strategic priorities that the EU institutions and governments should have as a compass for the next five-year political cycle 2019-2024 .
The only five-hour informal summit, hosted by the former mayor of the city, Klaus Johannis, will be the president of the United Kingdom, because they are on the verge of quitting, so they will discuss the future of Europe without them, but the British deputy prime minister has just recognized them: we also have to sort out the EP elections because there is no time to run every step of the exit.
The three-page “sketch” presented by Tusk – which will serve as the basis for the debate – contains the following chapters:
protecting citizens and freedoms (security, addressing migration challenges, preserving the rule of law and protecting values and freedoms);
putting forward a European economic model for the future (deepening the internal market, economic and monetary union, digital transition, fair competition, investing in education and skills, etc.);
building a greener, fairer and more inclusive future (sustainable, safe and affordable energy, protecting the environment and climate, reducing disparities through cohesion, protecting consumers and health, etc.);
Promoting Europe’s interests and values in the world (defense initiatives, enlargement, neighborhood policy, promoting European values, promoting multinational rules and addressing global challenges).
At the initiative of Tusk, the leaders of the EU-27 also accept a statement called Sibiu, in which they re-believe in unity and faith in the future of the EU.
However, according to EU sources, the summit participants will not only confine themselves to asking questions about the future, but will keep their watchful eyes on the EP elections, planning the steps that will result from the results in the Member States. Tusk will report in Sibiu on the order of post-EP election nominations, presenting to leaders what successive steps the European Council should take to nominate a suitable person for the next Commission President.
The President of the European Council in Sibiu is preparing to announce, according to Bruxinfo, that an extraordinary summit will be convened in Brussels two days after the EP elections on 28 May to discuss the results of the European Voting and the next steps.
Diplomats point out that Tusk’s predecessor, Herman Van Rompuy, summoned a summit in 2014 immediately after the election in order to obtain a mandate for interinstitutional consultations.
The time factor is particularly important because the European Council has not formally committed itself to trusting and accepting the person nominated by the EP after the election. “It cannot be automatic, there is no guarantee,” reminds the Council of this decision of the EU summit in February 2018.
Analysts note that last 3 months and three EU summits were needed to resolve the issue of Commission Presidential succession. A qualified majority in the European Council will be required for the official nomination. Among the current institutional leaders, Juncker, Tusk and Mogherini did not have any consensus.