Bulgaria’s caretaker cabinet will nominate Kristalina Georgieva to the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, head of state President Rossen Plevneliev said on August 5 2014.
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, will be one of the last to be submitted by an EU country in the current process of appointments.
The process of nomination has been delayed by domestic political wrangling in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party, which was handed the mandate to govern after the May 2013 elections – in which it ran second but unlike Boiko Borissov’s GERB, which won the most votes, was able to secure a majority to appoint a cabinet – has been campaigning for a figure other than Georgieva, who is seen as being on the centre-right of the political spectrum.
Plamen Oresharski, occupant of the prime minister’s chair in the now-outgoing cabinet, also sought to argue that the cabinet had the prerogative to appoint the country’s next European Commissioner. Belatedly, he supported a Georgieva nomination for 2014, while admitting he had no mandate to do so.
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.
The BSP counter-argument, including from one of the people mooted as its choice of European Commissioner-designate, Kristian Vigenin, was that the EU foreign policy post was earmarked for the EU’s socialist group. There has been no indication so far that any such deal is in place, and EU leaders have given themselves until a formal meeting on August 30 to decide the issue.
The matter now passes to the caretaker cabinet taking office on August 6, as time runs out for the completion of the process of EU countries making nominations.
Georgieva has said that she is available to accept the nomination. It remains an open question which portfolio will be granted to Bulgaria, with the domestic dilly-dallying over the nomination seen as having hamstrung the country’s chances of campaigning successfully for a significant post in the Juncker European Commission.
(Main photo: EC Audiovisual Service)