French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that "strong leaders" should become heads of the main EU institutions, and that the European Council would decide on candidates for key posts before the end of the bloc's summit in June.
Earlier in the day, Brussels hosted an informal EU summit, with its participants discussing candidacies for the key EU posts after the European Parliament elections. However, a source said on the sidelines of the summit that the negotiations at this stage concerned only different countries' priorities in order to understand what criteria should be taken into account when choosing candidates.
"Leaders of the EU countries agreed to decide on four heads of key European institutions not later than the June summit…. We need strong leaders who have strong experience, strong legitimacy," Macron told journalists after the summit.
According to Macron, the heads of the main structures of the EU should be men and women who will be qualified enough to fulfil the tasks and who will make Europe as strong as possible.
"There should be no automaticity in choosing the head of the European Commission. It is necessary to take into account all institutions, and the authority of each should be taken into account. The European Council has a certain role, the European Parliament has a certain role. We decided to delegate authority to [European Council President] Donald Tusk to work in the next few weeks and to decide on the possible names [of candidates] on the basis of our discussions," he said
Earlier on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the European Council had intended to submit candidate for the position of head of the European Commission by June 20-21. In turn, Donald Tusk noted that the specific names of candidates for key positions in EU institutions had not yet been determined at this stage.