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Center-right candidate for EU Commission chair says ready to compromise

Manfred Weber, member of the Bavarian Christian Democrats (CSU) and lead candidate of the European Peoples' Party (EPP) in European parliamentary elections, arrives for a news conference in Munich, Germany, May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe’s center-right candidate for the chair of the EU Commission, Manfred Weber, said on Tuesday his party was ready to make all necessary compromises over the appointment of the most powerful figure in the bloc.

Weber spoke after the main political groups of the EU parliament agreed to keep backing the principle that the new president of the EU executive should be someone who had campaigned for the job.

That list include Weber himself from the center-right European People’s Party, center-left candidate Frans Timmermans and the liberal EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.

“The EPP is ready for all the necessary compromises,” Weber said.

Leaders of EU states will meet in Brussels later on Tuesday to start the process of choosing the commission’s chair. Under EU rules, leaders propose a candidate who reflects the results of Sunday’s European Parliament elections. The candidate then needs the backing of the EU parliament.

The EPP won the EU parliamentary vote but with a shrinking share of seats, which obliges it to form a coalition with at least two other groups to obtain a majority in the next EU parliament.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Andrew Heavens