June 13, 2019 / 2:30 PM / 6 days ago

Czech PM Babis: We do not need "Spitzenkandidaten" for Commission chief

FILE PHOTO: Leaders of Visegrad countries Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Czech Republic's Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Slovakia’s Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini are welcomed by European Council President Donald Tusk ahead of a European Union leaders summit after European Parliament elections to discuss who should run the EU executive for the next five years, in Brussels, Belgium May 28, 2019. Oliver Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo - RC1D2DFFE510

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Thursday that the next European Commission should be led by a candidate reflecting the needs of all EU member states and not one of the “Spitzenkandidaten”, or lead candidates proposed by factions in the European Parliament.

The “Spitzenkandidat” system aims to put a lawmaker selected by the European assembly into the top Commission job, but this is not automatic and the position will be discussed by EU national leaders in the coming weeks.

The strongest party in the European Parliament is the European People’s Party and its lead candidate is Germany’s Manfred Weber.

Babis made his comments in a tweet after talks with central European counterparts.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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