Mr Weber, a German MEP, warned EU leaders not to “devastate” democracy by blocking his route to the European Commission presidency. He said “transparency and democracy would be cast aside” by leaders if they continued refusing to support his bid for the top Brussels job. The German even suggested that “radicals would inevitably profit” from their decision to not make him Commission president.
He also claimed that the European elections would be seen as meaningless across the EU as a result.
Writing in the German newspaper Die Welt, Mr Weber said: “Since the European Council, the Spitzenkandidat principle is supposedly buried.
“Thus far, those who have prevailed are the ones who are destructive and want to prevent something. Constructive approaches, proposals that also have a chance for acceptance in the European Parliament, are a long way away.
“Part of the European Council wants to simply wipe the idea of the Spitzenkandidat principle off the table. This would mean the election results would be irrelevant.”
In one final desperate bid, Mr Weber called on leaders to remember how Jean-Claude Juncker was appointed through the selection process.
In 2014, Mr Juncker was the European People’s Party lead candidate and put forward for the job after the centre-right bloc won the most seats in the European Parliament.
Fast forward to 2019, the EPP, despite suffering an electoral blow, is still the largest bloc.
Mr Weber said: “Every voter had the opportunity to know who would be in charge if the EPP won the election: namely, Manfred Weber as Commission president.”
While claiming it the system is “not perfect”, he insisted it was the only way to ensure Brussels is seen as democratic.
“If the democratisation of Europe fails, then the EU can also be seriously threatened,” he said.
He added: “Transparency and democracy would be cast aside. The EU is well on its way to letting decision-making return to backrooms. The frustration of voters is foreseeable.”
Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is expected to be named the EPP’s alternative candidate at Sunday’s European Council summit, according to EU sources.
Mr Barnier last night held talks with Mr Macron’s top Brussels aide in the Belgian capital ahead of what is expected to be an imminent announcement.
The French President is ready to back an alternative EPP candidate for the top job after refusing to support Mr Weber.
Angela Merkel and Joseph Daul, the EPP’s president, are expected to break the news to Mr Weber when they meet for dinner in Berlin.
An EU source said: “It’s clear that the EPP is going to stake its claim for the Commission.
“Manfred Weber’s credentials would have been fine a decade ago but the world has changed.
“With Brexit and the transatlantic tensions, the EU needs an old hand to deal with Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“That’s why the Council has been increasingly sounded out about Barnier.”