The European Commission’s Vice-President for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič from Slovakia, “now has sufficient backing to allow him to run for the European Socialists’ Spitzenkandidat”, his team informed the European Politico weekly. The weekly pointed out Šefčovič’s potential opponents, who are either withdrawing from the election or lacking enough support due to the weaker position of socialists in their home countries.
This week, Šefčovič will meet PES President Sergei Stanishev “to hand over the 10 letters of support he has so far received during the nomination process. The minimum he needed was nine, but the more the better,” according to Politico.
Other candidates out - or weaker
Šefčovič is still the only PES candidate for the position thanks to Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern recently announcing his decision to withdraw from domestic as well as European politics, since he allegedly could not avoid touching on national issues in discussions on the EU.
Meanwhile, French EU commissioner Pierre Moscovici has left the running for socialists’ candidate as well: he announced this news last week.
The socialist party of another possible rival of Šefčovič, the EC’s first Vice-President Frans Timmermans, is currently in opposition, which weakens his chances, while Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has a similar problem.
In case there are some rival candidates by October 19, the deadline for announcing the candidates, the PES congress planned for December 7-8 in Lisbon shall decide on the selection of the slate’s leader.