Brussels is Discussing the EU Budget after Brexit

Brussels is Discussing the EU Budget after Brexit

EU President Donald Tusk will make suggestions on both at a summit in Brussels that will not produce formal decisions and that even officials admit will lack excitement.

Spitzenkandidat, an obscure German word meaning "lead candidate", has become the most talked-about issue in the Brussels bubble.

In a related matter, the leaders are due to discuss the method for selecting the President of the European Commission. Then the European Council, comprised of national leaders, "takes into account" that nomination, while making its own pick for the post.

Under the system, each political group in the European Parliament (EP) nominates a candidate for the top-tier post in the run-up to the EP election.

In his letter to the European Union leaders, Tusk asked if the European Union should accept the parliamentary candidate automatically or if the final say should be with the leaders.

However, Commission President Juncker, who as the lead candidate of the European People's Party secured the post in 2014, has time and again thrown his weight behind it, arguing that the victor of the candidate has a "double legitimacy" with the endorsement from the European Council and the EP.

Mr Juncker's Commission, led by chief negotiator Michel Barnier, is responsible for coordinating the EU's work on Britain's withdrawal and conducting exit talks.

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The European Parliament earlier this month adopted a text saying that they would only accept a presidential candidate for the commission if he or she had run in the 2019 elections as a lead candidate.

Tusk is expected to recommend that leaders back reducing the size of the parliament to 705 from 751.

"The treaty says that the president of the European Commission should be proposed by the democratically elected leaders of their member states, and that he or she should be elected by the democratically elected members of the European Parliament".

One will deal with security and defence issues, and he said there was a great willingness to have such a treaty with the United Kingdom, as it "punches above its weight" in terms of its contribution to European security and defence.

Money is always a big issue after a divorce, and Brexit is no exception.

The EU 27 will be left with a hole in its annual budget of between 12 and 15 billion euros (RM58 billion to RM74 billion) by the departure of the United Kingdom, which is a net contributor, according to the European Commission. It will remain like that even without the United Kingdom around the table.

Mr Mark Rutte, the Netherlands' Prime Minister, has already said that his country will not pay more, and similar objections have been received in private from Sweden, Austria, Finland and Denmark - enough nations to derail the entire budget process. The former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, considerably poorer than their western counterparts, are certain to oppose it; they are demanding both an increase in European Union spending and a further diversion of funds to the east in order to eliminate the continent's economic disparities.

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