Updated | European leaders to meet again on Tuesday after failing to agree on Commission top job

EU leaders will meet again on Tuesday at 11am after all-nighter ended with breakfast in Brussels and no deal on top jobs

The summit room where EU leaders have been meeting all night to try and reach an agreement on who should be nominated for the EU's top jobs
The summit room where EU leaders have been meeting all night to try and reach an agreement on who should be nominated for the EU's top jobs

Updated on Monday at 1.20pm

European leaders will meet again in Brussels on Tuesday to try and break the impasse over who should occupy the post of European Commission president in the next legislature.

European Council President Donald Tusk suspended the summit that started on Sunday evening and continued throughout the night and all through Monday morning.

Leaders were unable to agree on a proposal backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to install socialist Frans Timmermans as commission president.

Leaders were discussing a package that would see Timmermans installed as head of the commission, Kristalina Georgieva as president of the European Council and Margrethe Vestager or Charles Michel as the EU’s foreign affairs chief, according to a diplomat quoted by Politico.

There is little hope that Tuesday's meeting, scheduled to start at 11am, will end in agreement. Merkel has faced a revolt from within her own political family, as members of the European People's Party disagree with Timmermans being handed the role.

The EPP emerged as the largest political party in May's European elections, albeit with a weakened majority, and is expecting that its Spitzenkandidat, Manfred Weber, be made commission president.


European leaders, including Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, met through the night but no agreement was reached.

The European Council is tasked to nominate the people who will occupy the EU’s top jobs for the next five years. A summit held in mid-June proved inconclusive and efforts by Council President Donald Tusk to finalise the discussion on Sunday have so far gone nowhere.

A plan hatched during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, by the EU’s big guns to install socialist Frans Timmermans as president of the European Commission, while giving conservative rival Manfred Weber the post of European Parliament president failed to convince.

Timmermans’s nomination for the commission’s top post faced stiff opposition from the Visegrad group of countries – Poland, Czechia, Hungary and Slovakia – and Italy. However, the Timmermans option, despite having the backing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a conservative, faced a backlash within the European People’s Party.

Timmermans and Weber were the Spitzenkandidat of the socialists and the conservatives in May’s European Parliament elections. The understanding was that the largest party would have its Spitzenkandidat lead the next commission.

The EPP emerged as the largest party, albeit weakened and unable to form a majority with any other single party. The discussions have been largely a three-way affair between the socialists, the conservatives and the liberals.

It appears that within the council, both Weber and Timmermans are unpopular. And the liberals, led by French President Emmanuel Macron, have insisted the Spitzenkandidat system is not binding.

Donald Tusk held various one-on-one meetings with the leaders in a bid to break the impasse. The council is trying to reach an agreement by consensus but a vote can be forced, requiring a majority of countries with at least 65% of the EU's population.

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