Germany, Belgium want clarification on top EU roles
The leaders of both countries said that talk on who should fill the top positions should come after clear definitions have been made.7 May 2008
BERLIN - The leaders of Germany and Belgium said Tuesday they want a clear definition of the new responsibilities at the top of the European Union as envisaged by the Lisbon reform treaty.
Only once this has happened could there be any talk about who will fill the various positions, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belgian Prime Minster Yves Leterme said after talks in Berlin.
"I am in favour of sorting out personnel matters only after the structural issues have been resolved, Merkel said.
Leterme said the EU's 27 members had to lay their positions on the table at the next EU summit in June.
The reform treaty approved in Lisbon in December envisages the establishment of a long-term president of the European Council and a stronger foreign policy chief.
Analysts said the EU has created two top officials who will almost certainly vie for power with the president of the European Commission and with the leaders of the big member states.
Unresolved is which EU institution the new foreign policy czar will answer to.
Merkel spoke out against making the new foreign policy chief answerable only to the Commission. "It has to be made clear that this is the Senior Representative of the Council," she said.
France has thrown its weight behind Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Junker for the new post of president. Germany also supports Juncker.
[dpa / ANP / Expatica]