July 1, 2019 / 12:31 PM / 4 months ago

Polish PM says Italy, EU's east led opposition to Timmermans as Commission head

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki leaves a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday said Italy and the European Union’s eastern states led the opposition against Dutchman Frans Timmermans taking over as head of the bloc’s executive European Commission.

Morawiecki - whose nationalist government clashed with Timmermans in recent years over backsliding on the rule of law in the EU’s largest ex-communist state - said differences between the bloc’s national leaders were still very wide and a deal was not certain when they reconvene on Tuesday.

Morawiecki said reaching compromises was key as the EU elects its next leadership and that such a momentous decision should not be forced on reluctant countries as that would undermine the bloc’s future cohesion.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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