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Arco Timmermans on Dutch news radio BNR on the negotiations for European top positions

A marathon session took place in Brussels from Sunday 30 June to Monday 1 July to decide who would become the new President of the European Commission. Arco Timmermans, Professor by special appointment Public Affairs at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University, appeared as a guest on BNR radio to talk about the ongoing negotiations for the European top positions.

Jesse Pinster, a reporter stationed in Brussels, announced that the 28 heads of states of the European Union were expected to reconvene around 11.00 o’clock. He says it is very likely that a the decision is at hand. One of the names that has persistently circulated as a possible candidate for the presidency is Frans Timmermans.


It is rumoured that Timmermans is to become the new President of the European Commission. Pinster explains that it is a difficult puzzle, in which several top positions still need to be pieced together. For example, Kristalina Georgieva, from Bulgaria, could become President of the European Council. Jean Michel, the Belgian Prime Minister, could become Foreign Minister. Finally, the name Manfred Weber has been mentioned, the Christian Democrat, who could assume the position of the President of the European Parliament.

Extensive negotiations

Presenter Jörgen Raymann asked Timmermans why these negotiation have to take this long. Timmermans explained that the political spectrum is becoming increasingly polarised. ‘It is very difficult to come to an agreement down the middle with anti-European parties on one hand and the Green parties on the other. The tension can be felt on both sides.’ Timmermans also stated that the party politics and reputation of the candidates is also very relevant. Finally, Timmermans mentioned that the representation of the various countries also plays an important role. ‘If the government leaders are sitting at the table, it can mean one of two things: either a deal is about to be made or it the situation is hopeless.’

You can listen to the radio item on BNR (in Dutch).

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