Meloni Criticizes EU Top Jobs Deal, Calls for Recognition of Right-Wing Election Gains

This agreement includes proposing Germany's Ursula von der Leyen for a second term as head of the EU's executive Commission.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni criticized plans on Wednesday to distribute the top jobs in EU institutions, arguing they neglected the recent successes of rightwing parties in the European Parliament elections.

Sources indicated on Tuesday that the three main, broadly centrist European groups, excluding Meloni’s conservatives, had agreed on a deal for the EU’s top positions.

This agreement includes proposing Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen for a second term as head of the EU’s executive Commission.

The proposed deal will be presented for approval at a summit in Brussels starting on Thursday.

If ratified, it would signify continuity from the past, with pro-EU factions retaining power despite the rise in support for far-right and eurosceptic parties in the recent EP elections.

“It does not seem to me that a willingness to take into account what the citizens have said at the ballot box has emerged so far,” Meloni told lawmakers, emphasizing that parties gaining increased support in the elections should be considered in the negotiations.

Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy, the leading force in the European Conservatives and Reformists Party (ECR) in the European Parliament, garnered the most votes in Italy.

A similar rightward shift was observed in France and Germany, where ruling parties faced significant defeats.

Meloni insisted that her ECR group, now surpassing the liberals in the EU assembly, deserved a substantial role in the appointments.

“The third (largest) group today is a group that is not liked by those who are deciding,” she remarked, criticizing the EU as a “bureaucratic giant” driven by “ideology.”

The top jobs deal reportedly includes appointing Portuguese ex-premier Antonio Costa as the chair of EU national leaders’ meetings and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas as the EU foreign policy chief.

Meloni argued that such a deal contradicted the original spirit of the European Union.

“(EU institutions) were conceived as neutral entities, thus able to guarantee all member states, regardless of the political colour of the governments of those member states,” she asserted.

While the three main EP factions have the votes to pass the package through the European Council of EU leaders, von der Leyen’s new term as Commission chief needs EP approval, which may require her to seek broader support, possibly including Meloni’s backing by offering Italy a significant Commission portfolio.