Merkel May be Planning Bid for EU Leadership with Backing from Macron
Political expert Brian Maguire says German chancellor may be plotting to lead Brussels
German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be planning a last-minute move to replace Manfred Weber as the EPP candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker in the European Commission leadership race, according to political expert Brian Maguire.
Maguire, a journalist with Euractiv, told Euronews he believes Merkel could be plotting to make a bid for EU leadership at the last moment, with support from French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron recently declared that he would back the German chancellor if she wanted the top European Union job.
During a TV interview in France on Tuesday, President Macron made the declaration following weeks of clashes with Merkel over who should replace Jean-Claude Juncker in November.
Commenting on the clip, Mr. Maguire said: “I got texts from a number of people at 7 o’clock this morning with screenshots of this saying ‘game over’.
“And you can see clearly from that interview as well this was a placed question, something that they were supposed to ask.
“I heard a number of different people in the last few days, including from the German car industry, saying that they will expect Merkel to be the Commission President.
“And this is something I said when Manfred Weber was announced as the spitzenkadidat.
“He looked like a placeholder, someone who would step back at the last moment and allow Angela Merkel or another person to step in.”
According to Express, the German and French leaders both suffered a severe blow to their leadership after the public turned away from their parties in the European elections.
Rather than coming together to face the surge in populist and eurosceptic members in the European Union, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel are believed to have been locking horns to decide who should succeed European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker once the Luxembourgish politician retires in November.
Mrs. Merkel's CDU has long been a prominent member of the European People's Party which on Sunday lost 39 seats as the German Greens and populist parties saw a surge in support at the polls.
Mr. Macron also suffered a loss after his La Republique En Marche (REM) placed second behind nationalist leader Marine Le Pen.
The French President and the German leader are believed to be considering alternative candidates for the leadership of the Commission despite EPP lead runner Manfred Weber winning the largest number of seats in the European Parliament.
Mr. Macron is believed to be concerned about establishing a pattern wherein the EPP automatically takes over the lead of every Commission job if the group continues to be the biggest party in the EP.
The French leader reportedly suggested Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier could be a "joker" solution to the debacle after Mr. Weber blasted the President for being "not transparent" over which candidate would have his backing.