A Retirement Party

Everything must come to an end someday – especially a career. In this week’s episode, we follow a departure party of Jean-Claude, who is having his last days in office.

As pleasant as a leaving party can be, it inevitably reminds you of what happens next: a retirement.

It’s also an opportunity to tell your colleagues what you really think about them. Even though they will probably turn it into a joke.

There’s always this guy who reminds you of your age and gives you pieces of advice.

You told his colleagues what he thought about them? It’s also the opportunity to tell other people how you feel about them…

If it doesn’t work, move on. A little party never killed somebody as the song says, and you are definitely in a mood for it.

But in the end, the inevitable comes: people are leaving, and you have to face the reality. You are now officially retired.

But what has really happened here?

Obviously, the pictures do not show a real Jean-Claude’s departure party, though there must be one scheduled soon (if we get the pictures, we promise we will recreate the story!).

The photographs of the article were taken during the summit of the European Council, which is a meeting of the heads of the EU Member States. The meeting took place on the 20th and 21st of June and the main priority was to agree on a person who would replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the president of the European Commission (EC).

Despite long night discussions, the heads of States did not achieve an agreement. Some, like Luxembourg for example, criticise the current Spitzenkandidaten system, according to which the European political party which obtained the most votes during the European elections should be granted the presidency of the EC. Xavier Bettel, representing Luxembourg at the summit, claimed that the system is not transparent enough and that it cannot be taken into account without transnational lists for European elections.

Some do not agree with the person – if the Spitzenkandidaten system was to be respected, the EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber should become the next EC president – but he didn’t achieve consensus among the European Council and the European Parliament.

So, Jean-Claude Juncker will be leaving office soon, but not until the European Council agrees on his successor. For now, several names are whispered: mainly those of Michel Barnier (negotiator for Brexit, although not a candidate), Frans Timmermans (S&D lead candidate), or Margrethe Vestager (European Commissioner for Competition).

Juncker and Tusk made sure not to whisper any name during the press conference Thursday night. Which leaves us in a total uncertainty before the next negotiations, scheduled for 30 June.

Photograph credits : European Commission

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