Over the last few months, Euronews has reported on a lengthy process where the European Parliament put forward candidates for the top jobs in the EU’s administration..

We brought you an explainer video on how the Spitzenkandidat process worked – but over the last 24 hours that picture has altered irrevocably, and the short answer is that the process doesn’t work at all.

Euronews’ political editor Darren McCaffrey sets this up as a battle for supremacy between the European Parliament and the European Council.

“The European Parliament is trying to exert its legitimacy as the only directly elected element of the EU institutions, that it should be able to put forward its candidates,” McCaffrey said.

But what transpired effectively saw that none of those candidates made it to any of the 4 top jobs.

And now many feel democracy is being undermined. The hastily agreed package has created a great deal of consternation not solely due to the hijacking of the parliamentary process, but also because of the individual personalities nominated.

In Ursula von der Leyen, the nomination for the EC presidency, you have someone who has never been a national leader, moreover she has no domestic support as Chancellor Merkel’s candidate is Manfred Weber.

Christine Lagarde – lined up for the European Central Bank chief – has been embroiled in scandals at home and suffered a lack of popularity due to austerity packages she implemented as head of the International Monetary Fund.

Josep Borell – nominated to replace Federica Mogherini as EU foreign affairs chief – has dropped his fair share of diplomatic clangers and is foreign minister of Spain who don’t recognise Kosovo.

Moreover, the nominees all come from positions in western Europe which is hardly representative of the whole bloc.

Anna Donath, a liberal Hungarian MEP from the Renew Europe group wrote on Facebook that the European Parliament’s democratic mandate is bigger than any European institution including the European Council. “But the European Council decided on the EU institutions leaders behind closed doors, instead of the European Parliament, excluding the democratically elected representative body.”

She went on to say: “As a result of the bargaining of several days the European head of states nominated people that we don’t know anything about their European vision or their main priorities. Today the head of states expect the European Parliament to accept this without a word.”

Watch Darren’s analysis in the player above


Readers' Choice