Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s long-held ambitions of holding a top EU post are over after leaders rejected him in favour of less controversial figures in more well-established European nations.
In the face of a divided parliament desperately seeking to form a grand pro-EU coalition following massive gains by euro-sceptic parties, it appears that Muscat’s potential candidature was dropped over fears of parliamentary scrutiny.
Sources have even said that Muscat was also unwilling to face the intense questioning from a European Parliament which has approved a rule of law resolution against Malta.
While Muscat enjoys unrivalled popularity at home, an alleged inability to take definite action against the highest officials in his office following Panama Papers revelations and the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia means he is out-of-favour with several EU figures.
One News has said that Muscat was “very close to becoming Eu council president.”
EU leaders have been debating since Sunday over who will take the EU’s most important roles for the next five years.
After two days of intense debate, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen will lead the European Commission, while Former French Finance Minister and current Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde will lead the European Central Bank (ECB).
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel will take over from Donald Tusk as president of the European Council, with Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell for High Representative for Foreign Affairs; and former Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev for European Parliament President occupying the rest of the roles.