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Saturday 20 September 2014

Kenny still in mix for EU Commission Presidency as European leaders meet

Daniel McConnell Group Political Correspondent in Brussels

Published 26/06/2014 | 10:24

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's name remains in the mix for a top €250,000 EU Post, amid moves by the British to block the leading candidate, Jean Claude Juncker.

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European leaders are gathering in Ypres, Belgium today ahead of what has been described as the most crucial EU summit in decades.

EU sources have said that it is expected that Mr Juncker will be selected as EU Commission President tomorrow.

However, the British are exploring legal options to block or even delay his appointment.

It has been confirmed that Prime Minister David Cameron is considering invoking a 50-year-old veto mechanism, known as the 'Luxembourg Compromise', in order to block Mr Juncker appointment, which is backed by a majority of EU leaders.

Mr Kenny's name has repeatedly been mentioned as a possible compromise candidate.

EU sources have suggested that there may some "sweeteners" offered to Mr Cameron by way of key commission portfolio jobs in order to allow him withdraw his objection to Mr Juncker.

But it has been stressed no official formal offer is on the table.

It is also seen as significant that the EU Council have decided to hold another summit in the third week in July, in order to "tie up loose ends".

It also allows leaders to defer any decision on the EU Commission in the event of a deadlock, when they meet formally in Brussels tomorrow.

Mr Cameron has little support for his opposition to Mr Juncker from the other 27 EU members, with Hungary the only other country to back him.

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