French President Emmanuel Macron stated that none of the three so-called 'Sptizenkandidaten' (lead candidates) for the EU Commission presidency were "the objects of a consensus" during a press briefing in Brussels on Friday.
The three candidates in question were Frans Timmermans, Margrethe Vestager and Manfred Weber. Macron had reportedly campaigned to block Weber, who is German Chancellor Angela Merkel's candidate from the Christian Social Union (CSU).
Speaking following a two-day EU summit, the French President explained his position by saying: "If Manfred Weber had presented himself in front of the European people and they had said 'We want him to be the President of the Commission', then no problem. But he presented himself as head of a list in Germany. Good deal, but that's not it." He added that the European constitution and treaties state that "the president of the Commission is chosen by the leaders of the Council, and he is validated by the Parliament. Just like Germans, I love the constitution."
Macron praised the work of Jean-Claude Juncker's Commission, and also UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
"We will regret Theresa May, because we will regret her country. That's the first point, I always said it. I consider that Brexit is bad news for Europe. And then, Theresa May was, during negotiations with us, formidably loyal and respectful. She never tried to block Europe," he said. Macron specified that he does not know who her successor will be, but that he hopes for someone "with the same decency and the same spirit of seriousness and respectability that she had."
Another EU summit has been called for June 30 to decide on the leadership positions.