European Election Fallout: Von der Leyen, Costa, Metsola, and Kallas in the Spotlight as Leaders Clash in Brussels

Brussels, Belgium – Following the recent European election, discussions have surfaced regarding the potential candidates for various key positions within the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ally, Ursula von der Leyen, is being considered for a second term as European Commission president. Portugal’s Prime Minister, António Costa, may take on the role of European Council president, while Malta’s Roberta Metsola is speculated to potentially lead the European Parliament, and Estonia’s Kaja Kallas could become the foreign policy chief.

The 27 heads of state and government gathered in Brussels, aiming to allocate the EU’s top positions among the coalition of the center-right European People’s Party, socialists, and liberals. These discussions come amid a shifting political landscape in Europe, following French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to dissolve the French parliament and call for a snap election.

Amid concerns over geopolitical challenges like Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the uncertain prospect of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s return to office, leaders emphasize the need for continuity in EU leadership. However, negotiations hit a snag as the European People’s Party, winners of the European Parliament election, pushed for more concessions and influence in distributing the top roles.

Tensions arose as the EPP advocated for the reappointment of von der Leyen and Metsola, both affiliated with their political group. Additionally, they proposed splitting the European Council president’s term into two 2.5-year segments, with one segment assigned to the EPP. This proposal faced resistance from the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), who had hoped to secure the position for Costa. The impasse led to a breakdown in talks, sparking a blame game within the negotiations.