Polish PM says new opening in EU requires new faces, new ideas

“We have presented several new proposals for candidates for the function of the the European Commission head, these are very good candidates,” said Morawiecki. Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, commenting on Frans Timmermans's candidacy for president of the European Commission (EC) in Brussels on Monday, said the new opening in the EU that is "undoubtedly" visible today requires new faces and new ideas.

Morawiecki said after the postponement until Tuesday of the ongoing EU summit in Brussels that the V4 countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia), as well as some Eastern European states and Italy, had voiced strong opposition against Timmermans taking over as chief of the EU's executive body.

"We have presented several new candidates for the function of the European Commission head, these are very good candidates," the Polish prime minister said.

Morawiecki stressed that the EU was "at a turning-point", and that its newly-manned institutions should serve European unity, raising competitiveness and the welfare of all the EU members. He added that the Community needed leaders capable of building compromise, whereas the May EP elections showed strong divisions among the member states.

"We believe in a Europe of nations which want to cooperate as closely as possible. Our position at this summit, in the scores of behind the scenes talks I have held here, and also at the plenary talks, focused on electing candidates who gave the strongest-possible guarantee that compromise will be sought," Morawiecki said.

Commenting on Frans Timmermans' candidacy for the EC chair, Morawiecki observed that it did not ensure a compromise-seeking policy in the EU, and reminded that several Central-European countries as well as Italy were against the idea.

"In the case of Mr. Timmermans' candidacy the Visegrad countries were decidedly against. Our view was also shared by Italy and at least several Central-European countries," Morawiecki stated, adding that the EU going into "a new opening which needed new faces, new ideas (...) which would be acceptable for the vast majority of the EU."

Morawiecki also informed that he and Czech PM Andrej Babis suggested several possible candidates for the EC chair.

Asked if there was a chance for agreement on the new EC head at the Tuesday talks, Morawiecki said it was possible but not certain, as there were still serious difference in the matter.

EU leaders broke off their talks Monday amid deep divisions over who should run the European project for at least the next five years. The summit will reconvene on Tuesday.