The Lead Position for Education and Culture European Commission is an Option for Mariya Gabriel

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | September 8, 2019, Sunday // 11:08| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: The Lead Position for Education and Culture European Commission is an Option for Mariya Gabriel

Friday's Brussels-based EU News Agency post triggered another wave of speculation in the European media about the distribution of posts in the future European Commission. According to the Bulletin Quotidien Europe of the Bulgarian candidate for a new term as EU Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel is a separate line for Education and Culture.

This is the case at the moment - of the Hungarian of Croatian origin Tibor Navracic. More youth policies and sports have been added to it. Over the years, the sector has also included civil society and linguistic diversity, and is probably best known for the Erasmus student exchange program and the Bologna Process for the convergence and recognition of higher education standards. Few know that the Directorate-General for Education and Culture develops and implements Commission policies in the media, media literacy and media pluralism sectors.

But if this is confirmed in the final version, it will be far from Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's desire for an important portfolio in which, in his words, the money has not been allocated in advance. He even talks about cybersecurity while education and youth policies are very far from this sector. While it may have some closeness to Gabriel's current responsibilities (Digital Economy and Digital Society), moving her to such a line would seem at odds with the unwritten principle of former Commissioners getting a career promotion in the next Commission. The newsletter of Agency Europe, for example, against the name of the Austrian Johannes Khan (former Commissioner for Regional Policy and current Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations), was recorded as Home Affairs.


The official presentation is scheduled for September 10 (Tuesday) morning. The whole process is so confidential that no country (except Poland) has allowed itself to reveal anything about Ursula von der Leyen's talks about their nominees and eventual spheres.

In Bulgaria, the news was spread by Nova TV, citing its own sources. Media in Ireland, France, Cyprus and Italy have picked up and spread the content of the text. It has a photo attached to a sheet of paper labeled simply "List" and a warning at the bottom not to spread. There is no indication that this is a European Commission working document or even a date.

But Agence Europe, founded in 1953, is considered to be one of the relatively credible sources for lobbyists and other groups for what's happening behind the scenes in Brussels. The authors of the newsletter themselves say that there was heightened speculation on Friday after the list appeared and that the distribution of positions between 13 women and 14 men should be taken with caution.

It has left some empty seats - the UK, which did not nominate its own commissioner-designate and withdrew its delegations from most meetings of the European institutions, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that they were leaving the EU on October 31 at any cost. But if he is forced by parliament to ask for Brexit to be postponed until January 31, it will create legal ambiguity for the entire European Commission of Ursula von der Leyen, as EU law requires London to broadcast its commissioner.

The place with the name of the Romanian commissioner is also empty, since it seems that the list of the two names proposed by Bucharest will not be included in the German team as part of the list. But there is a "Transport" record against Romania. The Greek candidate is also not in charge - former Commission spokeswoman Margaritic Schinas.

One of the surprises in the publication is the post of Helena Dali, Malta's representative. The name "Justice" is written against her name, and this is somewhat unusual for a country criticized by the Council of Europe for the state of the rule of law and in which the lawsuit for the infamous murder of Daphne Caruana Galicia, two years ago, has not been completed. The island state also has problems with its reputation in terms of offshore status, money laundering, "sale" of citizenship for investment and the registration of many European online gambling companies. All of this conveys the slightest bit of tension and sharp questions when hearing whether the committee is hearing in the European Parliament in October, the media in Malta commented.

It also seems curious to see Irishman Phil Hogan in charge of the EU trade policy. The reason is that, alongside the Brexit passion and the status of the Irish-British border, it is the Dublin candidate who will possibly negotiate in the next 2 years the form which trade relations with the United Kingdom must take, having already left the Union and the Single Market, reminded the Iris Independent newspaper.

A third strangeness is the allegation of the distribution of Competition by Frenchwoman Sylvie Coolar. The reason is that this delicate and very important single market post is traditionally not given to a representative of France or Germany.

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