Slovak EU commissioner enters race to become EC president

The ambition of Maroš Šefčovič is to try to ease tensions between old and new member states.

European Commission Vice-president for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič European Commission Vice-president for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič (Source: TASR)

Maroš Šefčovič, Slovakia’s European Commissioner and vice president of the Energy Union, has indicated an interest in succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker as the EU executive’s president. On June 4 at the European Nuclear Forum in Bratislava he confirmed that he would seek the nomination of the European social democrats for the post.

“I will do everything to get the support of the social democratic parties across the EU,” said Šefčovič, as cited by the TASR newswire. “I will do my best to use this process to put the spotlight on stronger industrial policy, a more assertive position for the EU in international trade and on an understanding between old and new member states.”

The European Parliament wants the large European political families to go into the elections scheduled for next May with clear election leaders on their slates. The leader of the winning political party in the elections to the European Parliament will afterwards become the new European Commission President.

The European People’s Party (EPP) launched the process of choosing nominations in April. It wants to introduce its candidate in November.

The social democracy camp will also hold some kind of primary. During June, parties united in the Party of European Socialists (PES) will agree on the criteria and a way of making nominations.

Šefčovič confirmed that he is pondering whether he should enter this race for the region of central and eastern Europe. He specified on Monday that he had received a direct proposal from social democrats from the Czech Republic and their partners from Slovakia have supported it. He also has favourable responses from other countries of central and eastern Europe.

Recently, Šefčovič was also mentioned as a possible ruling Smer party candidate for President of Slovakia but he has denied his candidacy.

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