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Gov't does not want EU elections to decide on next EC head

8 February 2018

Prague, Feb 7 (CTK) - The Czech government disagrees with the next European Commission president being chosen based on whom the EP factions will nominate to leading positions in the nearest European elections, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Furthermore, the Czech cabinet disagrees with the plan to create joint European lists of candidates to contest a part of EP seats, he said.

"We believe it is the member states that must have the main influence on the next choice of EC president," Babis said, adding that this would prevent the EC from getting politicised.

The top candidates system was applied in the EU elections in 2014 when the European People's Party (EPP) faction proposed Jean-Claude Juncker and the Socialist Party faction proposed Martin Schulz.

Finally, Juncker was chosen for EC head as the EPP emerged from the elections as the strongest faction in the EP.

The Czech government has reservations about the proposal that a part of EP seats be filled based on all-EU lists of candidates.

At present, citizens of each member state elect their representatives to the EP on the respective national lists of candidates. The change would require legislative changes in all member countries.

The nearest EP elections are due in 2019.

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