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EU leaders will be constrained by deepening divisions

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Subject

EU institutions.

Significance

The European Council’s choices of heads for the European Commission, ECB, Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy represent continuity. All are Western Europeans and all belong to centrist groups in the European Parliament (EP). However, the influence of the centre is declining in some institutions while that of peripheral groups is growing.

Impacts

  • Ursula von der Leyen's appointment as Commission president is destabilising to governing coalitions in Germany and Italy.
  • Eastern and Central European countries believe that von der Leyen will adopte a more lenient stance on rule of law issues.
  • Von der Leyen will support French President Emmanuel Macron's plans for European defence autonomy.
  • Christine Lagarde’s nomination to head the ECB looks more like a political than a technical appointment.
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