PM tells Merkel new EU functions must account for geographical balance

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on Wednesday that the new division of functions in the EU must take account of geographical balance so that Central Europe's interests are adequately represented, spokesperson for the Polish government Joanna Kopcinska told PAP.

In the coming months the EU will have to fill several important positions including the president of the European Commission (EC), the president of the European Council and the head of EU diplomacy. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras have announced their opposition to the candidature of Germany's Manfred Weber as head of the EC.

In turn, Luxemburg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite have opposed the idea of an election to the EC presidency through EU political groups. This concerns the concept of the so-called leading candidate, depending on the selection of candidates by political groups.

However, EU regulations foresee that the European Council is responsible for the selection of the EC president. Although a consensus is desirable, it is not an essential condition. In 2014, the nomination of the current EC president, Jean-Claude Juncker, was opposed by Viktor Orban and then UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Among the candidates for EC president, apart from those nominated by political groups, have been mentioned the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier of France, and EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.