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EFE: Ukraine crisis casts shadow over choice of EU leaders

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Quote in EFE (Spanish news agency) article, ‘La crisis ucraniana dejará su huella en la asignación de cargos UE del sábado‘ by María Ruiz on contenders for the European Union’s top jobs:

The heads of state or government of the European Union (EU) will try to agree, after a failed attempt in July, the name of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who will succeed Catherine Ashton, and the new President of the European Council, who will take over from Belgian Herman Van Rompuy.

"The Ukrainian-Russian crisis is probably the main foreign policy issue to be taken into account when considering the new High Representative," Europe Decides director David O'Leary told Efe, recalling that it was precisely this element that prevented the agreement at the July summit.

The candidacy of the Italian Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini, "was blocked at the last summit by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which considered her to be too soft towards Moscow," he said.


Although the political context always plays a role at the time of this type of appointments and can indeed complicate the decision, it is not the only element to be taken into account, since "personality, experience, political affiliation, nationality and gender will also be key considerations," O'Leary explained.

In his opinion, "if Mogherini wins the foreign policy role, then there will have to be a President of the European Council from Central or Eastern Europe to provide balance on the Russian-Ukrainian question."

If [Polish Prime Minister Donald] Tusk, backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, does not win the post, the name of former Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis (also of the EPP) would also be considered.

"Dombrovskis is still on the table," O'Leary said.

Download the full article (in Spanish)