The EU’s top jobs
The European Parliament elections have brought yet more fragmentation, with the two main groups losing seats and their joint majority in the EU’s legislature. Liberals, Greens and right-wing populists gained. The union today resembles a patchwork of ideological and regional tendencies. That makes the task of parcelling out its big jobs extra-fiddly. There are four vacancies: the presidencies of the European Commission (the EU’s executive), the European Council (its senate-like body of national leaders) and the European Central Bank (ECB) as well as the “high representative” for the EU’s foreign and security policy. A convention of 2014 says the commission job should go to the “lead candidate” of the largest group in the parliament. Under an older precedent, those appointed to the top positions are meant to include representatives of all corners of the continent and of the big political families. Different permutations are lined up until, like a Rubik’s cube, everything slots into place.