This week we discuss the hot mess that has been the squabbling and horse trading over EU top jobs. It’s a bad look. Have you considered any of them? We certainly hadn’t…

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Also, have you considered Matteo Renzi?

Show Notes

Have you considered…

Council President Charles Michel

Be in the room is apparently good enough

After losing an election and being likely kicked out of office once the dust settles but now he gets to live on as council president

His party was never exactly winning anyway - he became PM in a very fractured coalition including the Flemish Nationalists… who eventually quit over the Compact for Migration from the UN… which really only encouraged not being shit to migrants and was completely non-binding… ——–

Did he achieve anything?

Well one of his big headline achievements is lowering corporation tax and increasing the tax write off of capital gains from share dividends ( ) So… yeah the big business busting EU as brought to you by Charles Michel.

In terms of having someone who will generally get on well with most EU member leaders sure… but in terms of record he’s not great

Parliament President David Sassoli

Who now?

One of the least exciting PD party members from Italy (yes including our pal Matteo Renzi).

In keeping with all the rest of these choices they smell a bit like the status quo nobody likes. Former EP vice-president becomes president because the EPP didn’t put a candidate forward in order to drum up support for their council president candidate.

He’s the least interesting person they could probably have nominated and got someone without a big presence and likely not very influential or indicative of a “strong parliament ##European Parliament picks Italian socialist as new president

Italian socialist, David Sassoli, was Wednesday elected president of the European Parliament for two and a half years, replacing another Italian, Antonio Tajani. In a second ballot, Sassoli, secured 345 votes, with 334 needed to win it. The national-conservative’s Jan Zahradil, got 160 votes, Green Ska Keller got 119 votes and the leftist candidate, Sira Rego, 43 votes. A total of 667 votes were cast, 37 of which were blank. _____

##Second ballot for presidency of EU parliament needed

Italian Socialists & Democrats MEP David Sassoli came seven votes short in the first round of voting for president of the European Parliament. He received 325 votes, while 332 were needed. Czech conservative Jan Zahradil came second, with 162 votes, followed by German Green Ska Keller (133), and far-left Spanish Sira Rego (42). All candidates proceeded to the second round of voting, which will start at 11:40AM.

Christiane Lagarde

Josep Borrell

##Report: Israel wary of new EU foreign policy chief

The EU’s new foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, is expected to be tough on Israel, an Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post. “It won’t be a piece of cake with him,” the unnamed official said. “Ideologically, we know exactly where he comes from,” the official added, citing Borrell’s record of criticising Israeli violence against Palestinians. Borrell worked on a kibbutz when young, but later “became very critical,” the official said. This very funny video of him on “Conflict Zone”

Ursula von der Leyen

Weber has been out of the running realistically for weeks because the S&D and liberals don’t like his track record of being cosy with Orban. Orban doesn’t like him because he’s suddenly switched to shitting on Orban once he was in the running for a top job…

The EPP countries plus ALDE and S&D would have been able to get Timmermans through if they wanted to keep the lead candidate system.. they chose not to in order to install someone from the EPP

Other than Merkel who actually seemed to be trying to get Timmermans through with their weird G20 compromise

The Germans are the last happy

The SPD are grumpy as fuck:

Martin Schulz described Von der Leyen as “the government’s weakest minister”, while his SPD colleague Sigmar Gabriel, a former vice-chancellor, called her nomination “an unprecedented act of political trickery”. A majority of German’s polled said she was a bad choice, including 45% of CDU/CSU voters (only 47% said she would be good).

##Juncker: ‘I was first and last Spitzenkandidat’

The outgoing EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday (5 July) at a press conference in Helsinki that the nomination of his successor, Ursula von der Leyen, and others to the EU’s new leadership “was not very transparent.” Juncker said that the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process of nominating the parliament election winner to the top commission job “unfortunately didn’t become a tradition”. “I was the first and last Spitzenkandidat,” he quipped.

Ursula von der Leyen: Indebted to Macron

A von der Leyen nomination strengthens Macron’s position in Europe’s sensitive power game, especially within Germany. She will be indebted to the French president, since he paved the way for her in the first place. ##Poll: most Germans unhappy with EU choice von der Leyen

Only one-in-three Germans agree with the EU leaders’ choice of Ursula von der Leyen to lead the European Commission, according to an ARD opinion poll. 56 percent said they did not agree with the decision. Separately, two-thirds of the participants believed that the German state was too lenient with neo-Nazis and the extreme right. 71 percent believe there is a significant danger of far-right attacks.

The Bundestag is currently investigating Flintenuschi

The Bundestag, the German parliament, is currently holding hearings into the affair, including accusations that von der Leyen’s office circumvented public procurement rules in granting contracts worth millions of euros to the firms. Those hearings have taken a dramatic turn in recent days as testimony from key witnesses appeared to confirm suspicions of systematic corruption at the ministry.

Along with that she’s been criticized for big cost overruns on navy refurbishment projects… So not great in general

She generally gets props for being moderate on things like quotas for women on company boards… but there’s a lot to be ignored if you’re to hold her up as an reasonable consensus candidate