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Taoiseach and Minister McEntee travel to Brussels for a special meeting of the European Council

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee will travel to Brussels for a special meeting of the European Council today.

After a long meeting of the European Council last week, 20 June, which covered a wide range of issues, President Tusk has convened this meeting so that leaders can focus on high-level appointments to the EU institutions.

A number of high level positions in the EU institutions fall to be replaced in the months ahead. Different rules apply to the appointments to the various roles. The European Parliament will elect its own President, and the European Council have already agreed that, given its specific mandate, the appointment of the President of the ECB should be handled separately.

A candidate for President of the Commission, however, must be proposed by a qualified majority in the European Council and then elected by an absolute majority in the European Parliament.

There was no majority for any candidate at the last meeting on 20 June, and the Council agreed to meet again today to resume the discussions.

It was agreed that compromises will be needed in order to achieve the necessary gender, political, geographic and demographic balance.

It is also important that suitable and qualified people fill those posts, who have an understanding of Ireland’s issues and concerns, including in relation to Brexit.

It is essential that a compromise package be agreed that reflects the diversity of the EU and that can gain adequate support in the Council and the Parliament.