The EU Parliament will elect its own president on July 3 'irrespective' of the European Council, the bloc's Parliament President Antonio Tajani said on Sunday.
'The choice of the President of the Parliament is entirely independent of the Council of the Member States,' said Tajani, whose term ends in July.
Following the meeting with the 28-nation bloc leaders at the EU Leaders Summit in Brussels, Tajani told a news conference that the presidential candidate of the political group that received the most votes in parliamentary elections should be appointed to this position.
The principle for choosing the next commission president is the 'lead candidate principle', he said, adding that the precedent for the system was set five years ago when Jean-Claude Juncker was elected as commission president.
“He was the lead candidate of the group that won the election in 2014 and was immediately recognized as the winner,” he said.
The new term of the EU Parliament will begin with a one-week General Assembly session in Strasbourg on July 2.
The EU leaders summit kicked off on Sunday in Brussels where they discussed the possible candidates for the top positions in the 28-nation bloc.
Leaders of the 28 EU countries will elect the European Council president, nominate a candidate for the president of the European Commission, appoint the high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy and decide on the president of the European Central Bank.
Reporting by Serife Cetin in Brussels
Additional reporting by Jeyhun Aliyev