up. for all parties to flash from powers that be. this is where. the 77 percent. this weekend p.w. . welcome to quadriga the european union is heading into a decisive week ends its parliament prepares to vote on the most important posts in brussels breaking with decades of male dominance heads of key e.u. member states have nominated 2 women for top positions with current german defense minister also the fund as president of the commission and i am f. chief christine legarde as future president of the european central bank but
critics say those choices reflect back room power politics and they're threatening to torpedo the nominations with the e.u. facing pressing challenges strong leadership is more important than ever will it emerge from a process with democratic deficit e.u. top jobs instead of inspiration that's our topic and here are our guests it's a pleasure to welcome emmanuelle shah's she's a freelance journalist originally from france who works with us here as well as for french print and broadcast media she says the scramble for the e.u.'s top jobs further highlights discrepancies between the member states and damages the union. works for. the list for the german council on foreign relations he says the visit group of eastern european countries has maneuvered itself into a corner their lack of representation in top the e.u. jobs. it's
a significant problem for any you cohesion it will come back to haunt the region and it's a pleasure to welcome tom not told he is the berlin correspondent for the british weekly the economist he thinks it was an old fashioned franco german backrooms with all the top jobs going to old europe but it's also highlighted a subtle shift in power away from uncle americal and toward emmanuelle kong. so tom let's start with that backroom as you call it actually there were official candidates for these positions there were rallies there were election posters there were t.v. debates or still a funded lion who is now nominated for the presidency of the commission was not in any of those so what's going on here it's funny isn't it i mean live on the line has been on a charm offensive in the european parliament recently trying to convince all of the political groupings that they want to vote for her to confirm her for the position
of the european commission and of course that grilling her also things from climate change to defense to economic policy and she has to invent a program almost out of thin air because as you say she was not a named candidate before the election what happened was there was this idea of so-called spits lead candidates each of those political groupings proposed a candidate for the president of the commission before the elections the idea being that voters would have an idea of who they wanted to see as president of the european commission the problem is it is the leaders the heads of government in the european union who nominate the president of the commission and not very many of them like the idea of handing power to the european parliament in that way and so when they met to name their nominee a couple of weeks ago the various candidates that have been proposed as part of this is one by one were rejected and they ended up with as i say this frank a stitch up and live on the line currently the defense minister here in germany proposed as president of the commission. thank you very much that was
a very concise explanation. certainly geographic blocks were a big part of this backroom power deal eastern european leaders did all they could to torpedo one of the lead candidates why 1st of all we should not group comprising poland hungary triple because lucky is not old eastern europe or new member states but they are the ones that are the that organize themselves and they didn't like proposed candidate who was shits and counted out of the socialist group from 3 months because they thought he's too divisive now the position of the vision of the group was shaped especially by poland and hungary which are the 2 countries that are under the art so-called article 7. sanction procedure for breaching the rule of law and basic values of the e.u. in the outgoing european commission france to months as the 1st vice president was in charge of this procedure the very streets and counted out for the s.p.d.
it was the one who had made trouble for these are actually so in the 1st reading this was a payback time. at the same time i think there was a deeper political message behind is these 2 countries poland hungary and their nationalist conservative governments one to one thing from brussels 1st to be left alone or they are pushing a different vision of the e.u. than is proposed by many mainstream parties at the u. level to these political groupings and that is namely the europe of the nation so nation states should be a building blocks and european institutions including the next commission should leave us alone to do our own thing therefore france to months also if you look at their interest was too much to swallow and i think also he was too divisive candidate in those relations also for the other eastern european countries just explain to me very briefly because your opening statement said that the vision god
group had maneuvered themselves into a corner but in fact haven't they demonstrated how much power they can wield in the 1st round they wear proudly boasting that they blocked france 3 months i think it was more complicated in fact they took the blame they claim the this does this blocking power but in fact france 3 months was shut down also at the main political grouping the open people's party by a 1000000000 of other prime ministers including prime minister of ireland. and others who couldn't swallow proposed a deal by under medical german concerts just as saying that we should give the position to 2nd largest buyer the 2nd largest political grouping to socialist and they were saying this is this is the biggest prize in brussels it should go to us as the party that won the elections and then the ship that group the eastern european leaders. for their own domestic audience he said oh we are also against it
it was clear there was no majority or that they had the blocking. power together with italy so it was much more complicated than just that. but they will be blamed this will be remembered and i think it's not clear when they go to the reserve in the cycle so now one understands better emmanuelle why you call this is scramble you said in your opening statement it will damage the union why is that it damaging because because if you look at it people actually voted for parties with like he say the people on posters were other ties to them like we are the candidates like for example a man for the very back was setting himself up as there's been some kind of dow 20 p. p. group so the european people's party conservative party actually so logically he should have been nominated as the member of the group which has gotten the most votes. he should have been nominated i know what happened is fact or politics where leaders decided between themselves who they wanted all not wanted as.
european commission president and that is not the will of the people so there is a huge disk discrepancy between what was advertised on paper what people voted for i mean those who had enough interest to go voting and what is happening right now which is the same old fashioned politics between leaders and mostly between french france and germany we have to say that the same politics that people don't believe in anymore time does the fact that the deal was put together by heads of state member countries show us that in the end the commission and the parliamentary assembly paper tigers. i won't go that far in fact i think you can look at it another way i think one reason why this matters so much to heads of state is because the european commission in certain respects is a rather powerful body european parliament has accrued more and more powers ever
since it became an independent elected body in 1979 that said it is clear that a lot of the leaders want to keep the commission on the phone. really tight leash one of the things that has been discussed so much since this big summit a couple of weeks ago is that not only was the line herself chosen by the leaders but as part of the overall package which i think we're going to go on to discuss not only were other top jobs discussed but some of the 2nd tier jobs were discussed and in particular vice presidents of the european commission the leaders decided among themselves that a couple of names including funds to moments we were discussing before will be vice presidents of the commission that that is a job that is a decision that the supposed to be in the gift of the president to choose their own vice presidents the fact that the heads of government which is in themselves tells you quite a lot about how important it is for them to retain control of the process so given the democratic deficits that you've all identified would you if you were a member of the european parliament next tuesday when the vote comes up would you
vote. in or out would you essentially punish the leaders for doing this backroom deal yes or no vote in or out. voted yes because i don't believe it's because they got the process in the 1st place i think it is essentially a. backroom deal just in the difference as usual in european parliament started with emmanuelle i would i would vote yes simply because what is the plan b. what candidate how do we renegotiate then like these jobs or do we have to reopen the whole package the whole package has already been decided so in order to exit a deadlock yes. but i would vote yes as well and for the reasons that both milan emmanuel gave i also don't agree with the some kind of doesn't system although i wouldn't vote yes to stick it to them i think the sort of on the line is certainly a better candidate the mountain view would have been but it is also true that if
there are issues if she's to be rejected in the european parliament that would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis within the e.u. butt. it's institutions and i don't think anybody wants that so next tuesday we'll know whether your opinions were reflective of the way that any piece think let us now take a closer look at ursula fund and christine legarde assuming the parliament does approve them the top post will include more women than ever before. as she enters the race to become the president of the european commission ursula from the lion is under political fire the german minister of defense leaves behind an army that's in a person 8. qualified medical doctors image as a feisty reformer has taken a knock but her supporters point out that the mother of 7 is a staunch european who's known brussels since her childhood has a good network and is fluent in french and english as well as german.
christine legarde is the grand dame of french politics a 63 year old economist has run the international monetary fund for a cheers monitor rising it without causing a fuss but also not shying away from criticizing u.s. president donald trump 1st trade policies. legard is considered a supporter of redistribution within the eurozone at the expense of richer states and an opponent of tough austerity policies. will women's power drive europe forward. funded lyon has been in brussels the last few days courting europe the members of the european parliament how does she do. i'm not in brussels i don't know but i think she is doing a stone just that she is building a program from thin air very fast she has a team behind her she needs to be
a consensus to be confirmed next week interestingly enough she does have the backing of some of those eastern european leaders we've been talking about and also the populist leader in italy what does that tell us. she's more known and more positively known politician in the center it in europe than many others as a minister of defense she tried to forge a common line between the your nato. and basically i think position on germany in central eastern europe is more. balance than it was before even a writer except a german many of these leaders rather accept a german conservative candidate at the top job by the european commission than a socialist the dutch person because there was a perception that. even 10 years 15 years off the source 15 years after that your lodge went some countries regardless of they do at home are treated as
a 2nd clause or as barely admitted and they'll accept it and many divisive issues and there are many in the e.u. they want there were plenty and to be included into policymaking and they feel there is a feeling not only on behalf of these controversial governments in poland hungary there's a problem with rule of law by others that. will include their view their views and interest and preferences more than for instance france demands what. you said in your opening statement that that there is a discrepancy between different countries that's reflected in this deal interesting the enough our report reflected the discrepancy in the way that a sunday lion is perceived here in germany as opposed to abroad so maybe you can say a word about why that is and what your take on her qualifications is whether you think she would be a good candidate to lead the commission so there's an irony in that when the
european council the collection of has taken government voted on this the one leader who didn't vote in support of the line was angela merkel she abstained and there's a reason for that which is that coalition partner the s.p.d. the social democrats. reject the idea of underline this commission president in germany when the coalition partners disagree then in europe in discussions relative relevant minister in this case johnson has to abstain the s.p.d. a taking a very very tough line on this mean of course are sort of on the line comes from a different party they also consider that. they are upset that the spit some kind of often system was jettisoned in this instance but i think there's more to it than that this is about german domestic coalition politics this is an extremely awkward coupling now between the c.d.u. in the s.p.d. the s.p.d. who are. leaderless very very unpopular in the polls they need to take every
opportunity that they have to show that they can stand against the c.d.u. to demonstrate to their supporters that they still have an independent spirit and i think that is what this is about so leaving that domestic tiff aside what do you think about fonda line which would be a good president for the commission i think the jury is out in some respects i think she would be good she has a good network she is well respected across europe as well as in america she has strong experience in some of the areas that are going to count for the next 5 years most obviously defense you've been defense minister in germany for some time but i think there are plenty of reasons to worry she does she unlike almost every previous commission president she's not been head of state or of government because she doesn't have any particular experience an economic policy that could be a big issue for the next commission president and what she used to be considered as a possible successor to angela merkel some years ago that notion has disappeared now and i think it's largely because i was not able to build
a support base for herself inside the christian democratic union and when you're president of the european commission where your constrained by different opinions by different governments all the time it's very important to be able to build alliances and i think the question of whether she is able to do that remains very open in many ways while her sort of underlying has been generating some mixed reviews there's been a lot of positive buzz around the nomination of christine lagarde would you say that this represents this deal that was done does this represent a shift in the balance of power away from germany and toward france i think both women definitely bring in the game changing approach to feel. is it turned out there that advantage of friends now like ok and i'm a kind of thing and from voting. she actually nominated also have government sent
2005 this is one of her close. i'm going to america. on her last monday does a german chancellor and with the health issues his current experience and we don't know how much longer she will be around and she just placed probably how close us president of the e.u. commission so i know mark on didn't want and he got his way with the nomination of the lion but i don't think france is taking any advantage on the germans they would also be the 1st time since the sixty's that germany would have european commission president so i think it's a winning situation for both of those countries and perhaps to any other country and you know let me briefly ask you tom to comment on where you think christine legarde might take european monetary policy and where you whether you see a shift of direction there away from german austerity and toward more burden sharing between the rich north and the indebted southern european countries that's
certainly something that france has passed pushed for in the past are we likely to see look our go in that direction you don't know that she is not an economist she has no experience in a central bank which is why for some people this was sudden and unexpected nomination an unusual one what we do know is that she has been largely supportive of the accommodative monetary policy pursued by the current president mario draghi . i think the question is going to be to what extent she is able to use the bully pulpit of this job to be able to encourage countries particularly germany to be a little bit more less fiscally restrictive now of course it's not up to the president of the european central bank to determine how governments spend their money but mario draghi regularly beat the drum for countries that had what he called fiscal space like germany which has a big surplus to spend more christine the god i think from what we can tell during her time at the helm of the. mess is largely going to be supportive of that she moved the i.m.f.
away from its previous position on. fiscal policy so i think we will probably see continuity that the question is how successful will she be in deploying her political abilities rather than her economical technical ones to be able to convince those governments to do more i think there would be an interesting agenda on her behalf and that is contributing to building up the eurozone as an institution the way and building up euro as a currency is strengthening that if that takes place within the next 5 years which is per month i think then it would also create more differentiation within forces eastern europe between the eurozone member states mostly small countries the baltics slovakia's lavinia and the rest of eastern europe which is less integrated economically and and when the and financially we do you and this is where i think the french president michel wants to move the e.u. and germany was as if they think so that they are i am not sure where the eastern
europeans by you know celebrating this package. whether they know what they what they will get you know they're going to i'm going to stop you right there because i want to bring in a very brief report to look at the pressing challenges that in fact europe is facing it's very clear that we need strong leadership in europe as the e.u. most forward to to deal with challenges that actually demand multilateral solutions . the 1st test will be brags that. britain is currently set to leave the european union at the end of october the new prime minister whether boris johnson or germany hunt's will call them brussels to renegotiate. the question is how britain and the other $27.00 states of the e.u. come to terms both socially and economically after brags that. the trade disputes with the u.s. and china it's very possible that u.s.
president donald trump will carry out his trip to impose tariffs on european goods this would do considerable damage to the e.u. economy. migration from africa and the middle east. even though there's a common e.u. asylum system it's really uncertain eastern european states refuse to take an asylum seekers'. the european union is threatened from within by the rise of right wing populism in many member states. is the e.u. prepared for so many challenges. ok briefly one word answer what do you eat as the biggest challenge facing the e.u. emmanuelle my. thumbs the question of european sovereignty and how it's maintained in an increasingly antigona stick relationship between the us and china. for me it's unity and cohesion and how we hope that you system will be able to work on
that this very fragmented political arrangement in brussels ok so that one takes us to some degree toward the brics a question and the question again of many countries and right wing populist looking toward more nation state power rather than less what do you think could unearth of the fund and perhaps supported by christine legarde a central bank governor face that challenge of rising nationalism and of pushback against multi-lateralism. well that comes from outside externally from the e.u. . and internally there is. a less. capacity to agree on some issues in foreign policy like sanctions on china because chinese are very active internally. and they are buying countries that when they invest
it's greece is one example they're trying to be friends they won't or hungary for that matter and germany proposed an idea of shift in the u.s. foreign policy mechanism to a qualified majority vote which is a no go for many countries i think this is a big challenge for the new high representative for foreign policy. spanish foreign minister. and the basic problem is that the e.u. system was built to pacify you problems and challenges internally rather than to represent europe and externally on the global on the global level and this is where the challenges will come in many ways you mentioned migration there has been a lot of pushback exactly from the eastern european countries on that would you say that the fund can bring a multilateral workable solution forward briefly he doesn't she doesn't has the search area to to to to lead that fight it's actually
a fight we are witnessing we cannot close borders where there are no borders there are graphic 0 places where migrants are actually dying i see those migrants are sort of human beings there are still thinking we have to find a solution europe wasn't built on the values of closing doors to people in distress and she has to address that i think the means to do so and tom finally that tech cold war us versus china can these women and the others who've been nominated can they really ensure a place for europe at the table or the current president of the. being commissioned actually. while the well and european commission has an awful lot of clout when it comes to trade it does need to be mandated to negotiate on behalf of member states i think is very much an open question whether the line will do the same thing it's possible that how paulson's german defense minister might come to hold such as nothing the. unblushing german defense policy thank you very much to all of you for being with us and thanks to you out there for being with us as well we do go into
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