Monday, 26 February 2018

In rejecting spitzenkandidaten, Macron has let the perfect be the enemy of the good

National leaders, led by Emmanuel Macron, have refused a European Parliament demand that citizens should select the next EU president. The reasons have more to do with institutional rivalries than citizens’ interests.

“Don’t count your spitzens before they hatch,” tweeted Lithuanian President Dalia GrybauskaitÄ— ominously as she entered Friday’s summit of EU leaders in Brussels. 

The Lithuanian president was referring to the so-called ‘spitzenkandidaten’ process, used in the last European Parliament elections in 2014 for the first time to select the European Commission President as a result of the public vote. National leaders of the 27 future EU member states (that is, all except the UK) were meeting Friday to decide whether to use the process again in next year’s election.