July 3, 2019 / 11:43 AM / 15 days ago

Germany says no need for cabinet to back new Commission chief

BERLIN (Reuters) - It is up to the European Council of EU leaders to nominate a new European Commission chief and not a national government, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said on Wednesday, dismissing a call for the cabinet to be involved.

A former leader of Germany’s Social Democrats, Sigmar Gabriel, earlier said his party would have reason to quit Merkel’s ruling coalition if she did not secure cabinet approval for Ursula von der Leyen’s nomination as Commission chief.

But Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told a regular government news conference in Berlin: “It is not the role of a national government to make a proposal to the European Parliament, but rather the role of the European Council.”

Writing by Paul Carrel, editing by Thomas Escritt

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