EU chief Juncker lashes out at leaders over top job methods


Outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reacts during a visit of the College of Commissioners of the European Commission in Helsinki, Finland, Friday July 5, 2019. (Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva via AP)

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BRUSSELS (AP) — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is criticizing the way European Union leaders chose his successor and others for the bloc’s top jobs for the next five years.

Juncker said Friday that “the process was not very transparent.”

After marathon talks, EU leaders nominated Ursula von der Leyen as his successor from November. They rejected a system whereby lead candidates in May’s EU-wide elections would get the jobs.

Juncker was a lead candidate in 2014, which lawmakers say brings more democratic legitimacy to the post.

Juncker says he told the leaders: “I always had the impression that I would enter history but not like that. Because I am a very unique guy. I was the first and last” lead candidate.

It’s unclear whether the European Parliament will endorse von der Leyen.

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