Juncker Adamant To Get Kristalina Georgieva on His Team
Jean-Claude Juncker insists that Kristalina Georgieva should be nominated by the Bulgarian government for the post of Commission Vice President and EU foreign Affairs Chief.
Juncker, who is expected to be approved by the European Parliament July 15 for President of the European Commission, is trying hard to make sure that the current Bulgarian Humanitarian Aid Commissioner gets nominated by the outgoing cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, EC sources told EurActiv.
The EU leaders are expected to discuss the successor of the current EU Foreign Affairs chief Caterine Ashton, as well as of Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the next Eurogroup President at an extraordinary EU summit on 16 July. Georgieva's name has been repeatedly mentioned as a strong candidate for the Foreign Affairs portfolio, EurActiv notes. Another name being mentioned is that of the Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who however does not have the support of several Eastern European countries who consider that Italy has been too friendly with Russia in the context of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis.
Juncker has reportedly had several telephone conversations with Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski to ensure that Georgieva will be nominated as next Bulgarian Commissioner. Still, Oresharski, who is expected to represent Bulgaria at the summit on Wednesday, has said he would not propose a commissioner on that occasion.
Juncker has reportedly told Oresharski to come to Brussels with an open mandate and a final decision instead of telling EU leaders that he has no mandate to decide.
There have been speculations in the Bulgarian press that socialist leader Sergei Stanishev might also be interested in becoming a European Commissioner, presumably with a less important portfolio as Social Affairs and Inclusion, says EurActiv adding that Stanishev, who is also President of the Party of European Socialists has just been elected as MEP.
Stanishev has denied plans to seek a Commissioner post, saying his current position as President of the Party of European Socialists (PES) is more important and that he will run for re-election at Congress of this political family in the fall of 2015.
However, EurActiv notes that until recently Stanishev has repeatedly denied that he will take his MEP post, which raises doubts about his refusal to seek post in the new EC.
Meanwhile, the main opposition party in Bulgaria GERB, led by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, strongly supports Georgieva for a second mandate, the online edition notes.
According to EurActiv, the remaining Commissioners are not expected to be discussed at the summit on Wednesday but Jean-Claude Juncker will probably request the specific nominations for the European Commission before the end of August.
According to the current timeline, on July 15 the European Parliament will vote to elect Juncker as Commission President. On July 16, a Special European Council is to discuss nominations for other EU positions. In the period July-August, the 28 EU Member States will need to designate their candidates for Commissioners as the European Parliament is expected to vote on the new Commission as a whole - President and members including the High Representative.
The next European Council is expected to meet on October 23-24, and the new European Commission is expected to take office on November 1. The new President of the European Council will take office on December 1.
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