Georgieva Is Bulgaria's EU Foreign Policy Chief Candidate - PM

Bulgaria in EU | July 17, 2014, Thursday // 08:43|  views

Kristalina Georgieva. Photo by BGNES

Outgoing EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is the Bulgarian contender to take over the EU's foreign policy, Prime Minister Oresharski announced in Brussels.

"I will support the candidacy of Kristalina Georgieva and will do what depends on me so that she is nominated afterwards. But this depends to a great extent not only on her personal qualities, in which I do not doubt, but also on the distribution of positions among political families," Plamen Oresharski told the Bulgarian National Television hours before a late-night summit.

Elaborating on his move he explained he was not pointing a Commissioner candidate "in principle" as he had "no mandate" to do so.

Before the talks to determine the next EU's High Representative, which came to a deadlock, Oresharski said Bulgarian politicians would hold consultations to deliver a candidacy if leaders did not agree to nominate Georgieva.

He stressed Bulgaria would see "a good portfolio" within the Commission and also that he did not rule out Georgieva as likely to fill another position within Europe's executive body.

"The portfolio is more important than the candidate," Oresharski argued, adding he did not "underestimate the latter".

Prior to the summit, the Prime Minister met newly-elected European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and the two discussed the agenda of the European Council meeting, according to the government's press service.

Oresharski met Juncker hours before the European Council's session late on Wednesday. Photo by BGNES

EU leaders failed to agree on Wednesday who would be the successor to Catherine Ashton, the outgoing High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini had long been pointed as a favourite to take over the diplomatic service, but countries such as Lithuania, Latvia and Poland staunchly opposed her candidacy, describing her as having a pro-Russian stance.

Leaders initially planned to choose the EU foreign policy chief before most other key positions, as the High Representative is also the European Commission Vice-President.

The summit came just a day after conservative federalist Juncker was confirmed by the European Parliament as the next EU Commission President.

Participants in the summit also discussed the name of the next European Council President, but could not reach consensus and are reportedly to hold a new meeting in end-August.

Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was expected to be among favourites for the post.

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Tags: Kristalina Georgieva, Plamen Oresharski, foreign policy chief, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, Catherine Ashton, European Council President, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, European parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Commission President


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