In Europe a change in leadership

All in one year

Despite the fact that to large pan-European elections – the election of the leaders of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Central Bank remained more than a year, the first salvo in the great campaign has already sounded, says Politico. On Monday President of the Eurogroup, consisting of Finance Ministers of the Eurozone members, took the main financier of Portugal, Mario Centeno. European players both large and small have already begun to sell services, to push on the right places of their people and to fight for the support of the European countries. For the first time in the history of a United Europe elections for all major posts in the EU will be held in one year.

In the beginning of 2018 Eurozone governments will choose the Vice-President of the ECB. In the spring of 2019 will be elections to the European Parliament. The leader of the center-right or center-left bloc will become President of the European Commission, and his main rival will head the European Parliament. At about the same time, Eurozone leaders will choose a replacement for Mario Draghi, whose powers expire in October 2019 after eight years of leading a major European Bank.

Writes Politico, citing a senior official of the Ministry of Finance of France, whose name was not called, usually such important decisions to the last minute. Another tradition of the great European elections – unwritten rules and traditions, which, however, are often violated.

Centeno victory means that the first round went to the South of the continent. As for political affiliation, the victory in the fight for the presidency Eurogruppe celebrated by the left. According to the European political tradition, it means that the chances of right-wing and countries from North Europe to other important posts now povisils.

Backroom deals

Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Pierre Gramene participating in the elections, complained of backroom deals. The scales in favor of Centeno outweighed Emmanuel macron and Angela Merkel agreed to support him on the sidelines of the recent summit Europe-Africa. Although, of course, surprise the Luxembourg official is also able to surprise, as Monaco, so to speak, already got his. Jean-Claude Juncker, national Gramina, at one time held simultaneously the posts of Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg and President of Eurogroup.

With regard to the violation of rules and traditions, we can take, for example, an unspoken division of positions of President and Vice-President of the ECB between the South and the North. The current Vice-President of the ECB Vitor constancio, the former President of the Portuguese Central Bank, was appointed to this position in 2010 with the support of Germany. It was believed that in 2011 the ECB will be headed by the President of the Bundesbank Axel Weber, a representative of the North. However, Weber has caused sharp aversion from the then President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, and was forced to drop out of the race, and the post of the President of the ECB took another southern Italian Mario Draghi. So, at the head of the main Bank of the Old world were two representatives of the South.

The balance of power at the moment says that the tradition must go back. It is very likely that the place Constancio is the current favourite in the race, the neighbor is from Spain. Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos does not hide the interest to the ECB, so he did not participate in the elections of the President of the Eurogroup, as two years ago. The appointment of Hindos can be considered a sign that the hopes of Angela Merkel to put on a post of the head of the ECB the German is finally coming true. Now the clear favorite for the position is the President of the Bundesbank Jens Weidmann.

Political bumps

Of course, in addition to management of the ECB European leaders need to resolve the issue with the top posts in Brussels. Here, however, their capabilities are limited. The system of the «main candidate» was adopted in 2014 and was intended to reduce the possibility of backroom negotiations and deals. Its effectiveness has been proven by the appointment to the post of European Commission President Juncker, which failed to prevent disliked his Chancellor Merkel.

Another factor in favor of the uncertainty – Emmanuel macron, which refuses to make the traditional choice between conservatives and socialists. The French President wants to create a pan-European movement that is neither left nor right. This means that the centrists in the European Parliament may not be the main candidate on a post of the President of the European Commission. Emmanuel macron may, of course, to try to put on the top posts of the French candidates or at least people with whom he, in his opinion, will be able to work productively.

Despite the fact that to elections still far, favorites are not sitting idly by. Weidmann, which has always been a hawk, now clearly diminished the intensity of their performances. This is a sure sign that he began to persuade the utility of the government of southern countries.

«Authorities say it’s too early — explains a member of the EC, but the candidates themselves constantly afraid that they will start the campaign too late. But do not forget that the most carefully planned and well-organized campaign could trip over the invisible political bumps».

In Europe a change in leadership 06.12.2017

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