European leaders from 27 member countries are gathering in Brussels on February 23 for an informal meeting to discuss institutional issues, including the composition of the European Parliament post-Brexit, and the Spitzenkandidaten or lead-candidate procedure.

According to the European Green Party, it is of “fundamental importance” that EU leaders back the Spitzenkandidaten process.

Commenting ahead of the meeting, European Green Party co-chairs Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Bütikofer said: “We believe this is the most straightforward, transparent, and fair option currently on the table for European citizens to elect a leader capable of standing up for their interests. It also ensures a direct link between voting for a political family and the person elected to head the Commission.   Reneging on this process now, is not only irresponsible but also potentially dangerous.”

They also said that selecting a candidate must respect the Lisbon Treaty, which states that the president of the Commission must be chosen taking into account the results of European Parliament elections.

“Indeed, it is not within the remit of the European Council to deny political families from choosing their own candidate. Attempting to abandon the lead-candidate would also indicate that calls for a more open, transparent, and democratic EU are falling on the deaf ears of European ‘leaders’.”