French President Emmanuel Macron told Swiss TV station RTS that he would back German Chancellor Angela Merkel for European Commission president.
Politico reports that Macron, when asked about his stance in ongoing negotiations on EU top jobs, Macron said: “Europe needs strong personalities, it needs people with personal credibility and skills to fill the positions.”
The French president reiterated that he had reservations about the Spitzenkandidat process, a procedure to appoint lead candidates for Commission president, with that position then going to the candidate of the party capable of forming a majority in the newly elected Parliament.
Asked specifically about Merkel, he said: “I won’t speak for Angela Merkel,” Macron said. But “should she want it, I would support her. Of course. Because I think we need someone strong.”
Merkel has so far is backing Germany’s Manfred Weber, the Spitzenkandidat for the European People’s Party, and has not indicated interest in the position for herself.
Politico reported that Macron said “there are four key positions: the Commission presidency, the high representative for foreign affairs, the Parliament presidency and the Council presidency. “I am attached to having two men and two women. We need parity,” he added.