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Italy's Meloni Criticizes EU Top Jobs Deal as Disregarding Voter Preferences

Photo : Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni criticized the European Union's proposed allocation of top leadership positions among member states, arguing that the agreement overlooks the electoral gains achieved by right-wing parties in the recent European Parliament elections. The deal, reportedly reached by the main centrist European factions, excludes Meloni's conservative group and proposes Germany's Ursula von der Leyen for a second term as President of the European Commission.

Meloni voiced strong objections, stating that the arrangement fails to respect the electoral mandate received by right-wing and eurosceptic parties across Europe. Her party, Brothers of Italy, a key member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Party, emerged as the top vote-getter in Italy. She emphasized that these parties deserve a substantial role in the decision-making process, given their significant electoral support.

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The proposed appointments include Portuguese former Prime Minister Antonio Costa as the President of EU national leaders' meetings and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas as the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Meloni criticized these choices as perpetuating a status quo that ignores the political diversity within the EU and accused the decision-makers of prioritizing bureaucratic continuity over responsiveness to voters' preferences.

Meloni further criticized what she perceives as a departure from the EU's founding principles of political neutrality and equal representation for all member states, regardless of their governments' political leanings. She described the EU's decision-making process as overly bureaucratic and driven by ideological biases rather than a commitment to democratic principles.

Despite the apparent majority support from the centrist factions in the European Parliament, Meloni suggested that von der Leyen may need to broaden her support base, potentially seeking backing from Meloni's group by offering Italy a significant portfolio within the Commission. The final decision on these appointments rests with EU leaders, who are set to convene for a summit in Brussels to approve the proposed leadership package.

In summary, Meloni's criticisms highlight a growing tension within the EU over the balance between political representation and bureaucratic continuity, with implications for how future EU decisions may be perceived and implemented across member states.

June 26, 2024 5:19 p.m. 380

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