Bulgaria’s caretaker government officially nominated Bulgaria’s current representative in the European Commission, Kristalina Georgieva, for the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy job in the next European Commission, to be headed by Jean-Claude Juncker.
The move was announced by Plevneliev on August 5, when he presented the line-up of the new cabinet, and has now been formally carried out at the first sitting of the Georgi Bliznashki government, held only hours after it took office.
“We will make a national effort for our current commissioner to receive a significantly more important position. I think that this would be an enormous acknowledgment for our country,” Bliznashki said.
Asked whether Georgieva would remain Bulgaria’s nominee if she could not get the foreign policy chief job, Bliznashki said that the government would focus on getting support for Georgieva’s bid rather than make back-up plans.
Bulgaria’s caretaker Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov said that Georgieva was not out of the running for the foreign chief post, despite the expectations that the job would go to someone nominated by the European socialists. He said that Georgieva was well respected and no deal on the portfolios in the incoming Commission had been struck yet.
The nomination of Georgieva, Bulgaria’s member of the European Commission since 2009 and who has held the humanitarian aid and crisis response portfolio in the Barroso EC that will leave office at the beginning of November 2014, has been one of the hotly-debated topics in Bulgarian politics in recent months.
In the final weeks of the Plamen Oresharski administration, governing with the mandate held by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the socialists argued that it should be the outgoing cabinet that should endorse Bulgaria’s nomination. The BSP also argued that the foreign policy chief post was earmarked for the EU’s socialist group and thus there was no point nominating Georgieva for the job.
The idea of nominating Georgieva again was a major issue also because there were messages to Sofia from influential EU countries that saw her as a possible EU foreign policy chief, to succeed Catherine Ashton, who will depart that post in November.
(Kristalina Georgieva photo: EC audiovisual service)