Many MEPs are critical of how candidates for EU top posts have been chosen, in disregard to the lead candidate process.
The debate on Thursday, the first of the 9th legislature, focussed on the outcome of the European Council summit held earlier this week. The leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament also used the occasion to highlight the groups’ political priorities for the years ahead.
Leaders of most groups expressed strong reservations on the European Council’s actions and decisions over the last few days. They particularly regretted the disregard shown to the Spitzenkandidaten process and the over-reach by heads of state in deciding the next President of the European Central Bank and in proposing Commission Vice-Presidents. The lack of representation of Eastern European countries, and the excessive role played in the whole process by leaders of member states who fail to respect the rule of law was also highlighted.