Per this article:
Frans Timmermans, a self-confessed anglophile who is fluent in seven languages, appears to be in pole position to head the commission from 1 November as leaders meet on Sunday evening in Brussels.
His candidacy was given a boost over the weekend by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who said Timmermans, the Socialists and Democrats nominee for the post, or the German centre-right MEP Manfred Weber would be “part of the solution”.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has opposed Weber’s claim to the role as group leader of the European People’s party (EPP), the largest group in the European parliament.
According to the Spitzenkandidat system, which got Juncker his job in 2014, the leader of the largest EU party should end up head of the European Commission. That would mean Weber.
I kind of get that there's some tug of war in the air, in the sense that the Council, rather than the Parliament, gets to decide who ends up leading the Commission. And that if the Council bows to the Parliament and goes with the Spitzenkandidat again, this will set enough of a precedent that the pressure will be very high that they continue to do so in the future.
I also understand that Weber isn't commanding a solid majority of the Council for some reason. (I've seen lack of experience cited once or twice, but that struck me as hogwash. I might be wrong in my gut assessment though.)
What I don't understand is:
- Why is Weber, the natural incumbent, not commanding a solid majority in the Council?
- Why is Macron in particular not fond of the idea of Weber at the Commission's helm?
Have there been any public statements, veiled but arguably obvious statements, or at worst some good analysis about the reasoning behind those two questions in recent months?