The EU’s rising red tide

David M. Herszenhorn and Maïa de La Baume , Politico, 20.05.2019

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Suddenly a Socialist as the next European Commission president is not such a crazy idea.

Just a few weeks ago, the notion of the EU's top job being filled by a candidate from the center-left Party of European Socialists seemed preposterous. No Socialist has led the EU's executive arm since 1999, when Manuel Marín of Spain filled in for six months as a replacement for Jacques Santer, the Luxembourgish conservative who resigned in a corruption scandal. And no Socialist has served a full term as Commission president since Frenchman Jacques Delors, who held the job from 1985 to 1995. [...]

Janis A. Emmanouilidis, the director of studies at the European Policy Centre, a nonpartisan think tank in Brussels, said that such a highly complex array of factors will be at play in the negotiations over the EU's future leadership roster that it is virtually impossible to make any predictions at this stage.

"There are so many different issues at stake — personnel issues, policy issues, institutional issues, it's such a complex tableau of things, which will involve a lot of players," Emmanouilidis said in an interview. He said he expects the Spitzenkandidat process would be a consideration but would not ultimately determine the outcome.

"It will be a puzzle, which has to be put together and it will happen step by step," Emmanouilidis said. "This thing will be moving very, very slowly."

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