BRUSSELS, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said here on Wednesday that talks have started with European Parliament leaders on the next president of the European Commission.
"Consultations with leaders on appointments are advancing. Talks now also started with European Parliament (EP) leaders on the next president of the European Commission," said Tusk.
The president held "good discussions" with Guy Verhofstadt (candidate of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe); Nathalie Loiseau (top candidate on French President Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance list in this May's European elections); and Udo Bullmann (president of the Socialists & Democrats group in the EP), he said on Twitter.
"Tomorrow I'm seeing Manfred Weber," lead candidate of the European People's Party (EPP), the largest political group in the EP.
The landscape of European politics is changing as far-right and nationalist politicians made strong gains in the European Parliament elections although parties committed to strengthening the Union retained over two-thirds of the seats.
For four decades, the EP has witnessed a "grand coalition" of the center-right and center-left parties, as they controlled over half the seats in the EP.
This year, both of them -- the Group of European People's Party (EPP) and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) -- lost dozens of seats, being deprived of a majority for the first time.
The centrist ALDE Group and the Greens ranked third and fourth in the EP, with 107 and 70 seats respectively.
This year's elections saw a record-high turnout as nearly 51 percent of the 426 million eligible voters in the 28-member bloc voted from May 23 to 26.