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Merkel would be 'dream' EU Commission president, Luxembourg's PM says

Holly Ellyatt
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received another glowing endorsement to be a future president of the European Commission — this time from Luxembourg.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on the second day of an EU summit on March 22, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received another glowing endorsement to be a future president of the European Commission — this time from Luxembourg.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told CNBC that Merkel would be a "dream candidate" for the presidency of Europe's executive body.

"I love that idea, I've asked Angela Merkel several times. She would be a perfect candidate for the (European) Council, for the Commission," Bettel told CNBC's Silvia Amaro in Luxembourg Thursday.

"She's got a global view, she's a great leader and a strong personality. I really, really appreciate Angela Merkel …. I really, really think she would be a great leader for Europe. We have some different candidates who are able but Angela for me would be a dream candidate."

Bettel's comments come after French President Emmanuel Macron said that he would support Merkel as the next president of the European Commission once Jean-Claude Juncker leaves the post on November 1.

On Tuesday, Macron told Swiss broadcaster RTS that "If she were to want it (the post), I would support her."

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Merkel has reportedly said that she does not want the position and wants to quit politics when she steps down as German chancellor in 2021 after four terms in office. Nonetheless, she is viewed as a strong and stable leader in Europe despite growing political turbulence in Germany and is something of a figurehead for the European Union (EU).

Other European officials are keen to encourage Merkel to consider the Commission presidency role, praising her as a unifying figure in the bloc and a steady force that region needs when its political environment looks polarized and fractured.

The next president of the Commission has to be approved by a majority of the 28 member states, but also by a majority of lawmakers at the European Parliament, the EU's legislative arm.

There will also be a vote to replace the current President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, when his term also in November, as well as new leaders of the EU Parliament, the EU's foreign policy chief and the next president of the European Central Bank.

Battle lines are already drawn between member states over the top jobs up for grabs. Donald Tusk has been consulting member states and the European Parliament about the positions. He has also said the EU should aim to have "at least two women" in the senior posts.

Tusk has said that he hoped the appointments would be agreed at an EU summit on June 20-21 when the bloc's 28 leaders next meet.

- CNBC's Silvia Amaro contributed reporting to this story.