Bulgaria without Chance to Have EU Energy Commissioner - Report

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | October 6, 2009, Tuesday // 18:51| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgaria without Chance to Have EU Energy Commissioner - Report Doubt that the new EC members will be known anytime soon is growing in Brussels. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria does not stand any chance to have an Energy EU Commissioner, the Bulgarian “Dnevnik” reports Tuesday citing an unnamed high ranking source from the EC.

The European Commission (EC) source is quoted as saying Bulgaria is not an example of success in the energy sector, the Bulgarian nominee lacks any experience in energy issues, the current Energy Commissioner, Andris Peilbags, is likely to keep the post and if not, other countries such as France, the Netherlands, and Poland are also lobbying for the position.

The report comes after an earlier announcement of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, that his ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party is nominating Foreign Minister, Rumiana Jeleva, for the EU Energy Commissioner position.

Borisov further mentions as possibilities other sectors such as Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Policy and Enlargement, all also criticized by the Brussels source, who said the Infrastructure, most likely would not be included in the new EC; Italians and the Dutch have strong positions in the Transport sector while the Regional Policy would definitely go to a country that is a net contributor to the EC budget.

According to the “Dnevnik” source, Jeleva does not have enough experience for neither position. As far as Enlargement - the sector might be transformed in Neighborly Policy with main task relations with the Middle East and former Soviet Republics where the EC will seek an experienced diplomat. Unofficial information from Brussels says Olli Rehn is most likely to keep his position there unless he is appointed EU Foreign Minister while, at the same time, the European People Party (EPP) has a nominee for the post other than Jeleva.

Diplomatic sources in Brussels are also saying Borisov is lessening Sofia's chances to obtain an important position by announcing he would lobby for Jeleva with French President, Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian PM, Silvio Berlusconi. According to them the EC President, Jose Manuel Barroso, would do as in 2004 and appoint the EC members on his own despite outside pressures.

A French diplomat is quoted as saying that Borisov's method is not the right one. “One does not go to the negotiation table with requests, one goes open for discussion. It is not professional to make demands at this time,” he said.

The EU Member States are expected to present their nominations on October 29 at the summit of EU leaders in Brussels but the doubt the EC members will be known anytime soon is growing. Despite the Irish “yes” to the Lisbon Treaty, it is yet to be ratified by Poland and the Czech Republic.

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Tags: EC, EC Commissioner, Rumiana Jeleva, GERB, Boyko Borisov, Jose Manuel Barroso
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