Choices for EU’s top jobs likely to pursue good policy – Orban

BELGIUM-EU-BREXIT-SUMMIT

People picked to head the EU’s most important institutions are likely to pursue good policies from Hungary’s point of view, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, after the European Council took decisions on top jobs at a meeting in Brussels.

Speaking to news channel M1, Mr Orban said “serious mistakes” had been made in recent years, in the areas of economic policy, immigration policy and with regard to “the respect due nations”.

He added that the chances of correcting these mistakes are “much better” than they were three days earlier, before European leaders rejected the candidacy of European People’s Party (EPP) Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber and socialist Dutchman Frans Timmermans to head the European Commission.

Mr Orban said the two candidates “would have been more than bad” from Hungary’s perspective.

Instead, EU leaders picked a German mother of seven, he said, referring to German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen. “That, in itself, reveals much about the turnaround expected in Europe,” he added.

Mr Orban acknowledged the impact of solidarity among the Visegrad Group – Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia – on the decision-making process, calling it a “success story”.

At the meeting in Brussels, the Council adopted a decision proposing Ms von der Leyen to the European Parliament as candidate for President of the European Commission.

The Council elected Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as President of the European Council.

It picked Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as candidate for High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde was tapped to take over as the next governor of the European Central Bank.