BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will discuss the party political balance in top EU appointments this year, Malta’s prime minister said on Thursday, after overseeing the reappointment of the centre-right’s Donald Tusk as chairman of the European Council.
Tusk’s reappointment, which follows the election in January of a conservative to head the European Parliament, means all three main political institutions are run by the centre-right. Jean-Claude Juncker heads the executive European Commission.
That lock on jobs has drawn calls from the left for balance.
“I congratulate Donald Tusk on being confirmed as European Council president. The European Council will later this year discuss balance in EU appointments,” Joseph Muscat of Malta, holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, said on Twitter.
The European Council represents the national governments of the 28 member states.
However, since Juncker, Tusk and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani now have mandates running until late 2019, it is not clear how change might come about any time soon.
The most senior centre-left officials are Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, Juncker’s Dutch deputy at the European Commission, First Vice President Frans Timmermans, and foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini from Italy.
The centre-right EPP group has 217 members of the 751 seat European Parliament while Socialists have 189 deputies.
Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Gareth Jones