No leap forward, no anticipation. The Council played with time and communicated that, in order to appoint someone as the new European Commission President, it will follow the Treaties step by step.
During the informal dinner that took place on the backdrop of the results of the European elections, heads of State or Government gave the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, a mandate to start the consultations with the groups “as soon as they are formed.” This shall happen by June, 24. That is, at least a month of stand-by.
“We took note of today’s letter sent by the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament,” who agreed on Juncker to be the first to try creating a majority, explained Van Rompuy. “Leaders have given me a mandate to conduct these consultations,” he added, “and I will also have bilateral talks on this with the members of the European Council.” A procedure which follow what was set out in the EU Treaty on the election of the President of the European Commission, “there must first be consultations between the European Council and the European Parliament, then the Council will make its proposal taking into account the electoral result.”
In reiterating the respect for treaties, the Council stopped the efforts of speeding up the situation made by the Parliament with the official endorsement for Juncker. Consultations in fact, Van Rompuy underlined, “won’t be made with a single person,” but with all the groups. That is, no privileged dialogue with the candidate indicated by the Parliament, who hence hasn’t received any acknowledgment by Member States so far.
“I will talk to Juncker too,” said the President of the European Council after a direct question was asked (he hadn’t even directly named the EPP candidate) but only in terms of “general consultations with the groups.” Van Rompuy said he had already explained the fact to the presidents of the EPP and S&D groups, Joseph Daul and Hannes Swoboda, who “acknowledged this is a true interpretation of the role of the European Council I undertake.”