"Europe should not be an elite project. It must become more of a project for the people again. This is why we need more democracy and transparency in the European Union. The 2014 lead candidate process was an important step towards that end. And at the 2019 European elections as well, there should be lead candidates (Spitzenkandidaten). People should know before the election who can become the President of the European Commission. Everything else would throw Europe far back to the days of backroom diplomacy", said Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, after today's informal European Council meeting.

"It is good that the European Council accepts the fact that European political parties will present top candidates. Attempts to unravel this democratic method have failed. It is clear that there must be a dialogue between the European Parliament and the European Council after the European elections. But it is also clear that the Members of the European Parliament will only elect one candidate for the post of Commission President, someone who also runs as top candidate in the run-up to the European elections. In every parliamentary democracy, the candidate who becomes Prime Minister is the one who could secure a majority in the Parliament. We want the same basic principle to apply in Europe and make Europe a true parliamentary democracy", said Manfred Weber.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

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