(Brussels) “European voters gave the newly elected European Parliament a fresh and strong mandate for the next five years. As the only directly elected institution of the European Union, the European Parliament is resolutely the legitimate place for the mandate for change to be debated and defined”. Thus begins the statement of the Conference of Presidents who had a meeting today to agree the line that European Parliament President Antonio Tajani will take to the European Council informal meeting tonight. The issue is the appointment of the European Commission president: the Parliament would like the decision to be made through “a strategic, transparent and democratic debate” among the political groups, whose outcome will “serve as a basis for the dialogue towards the European Council”. The Parliament “commits to the strengthening of the European democracy”, the statement reads, and reaffirms its “resolve” for the “lead candidate process”: the next Commission President must have “made her/his program and personality known prior to the elections, and engaged in a European-wide campaign”. At the press conference, President Tajani said the statement is “supported by the majority of political groups in Parliament”.