Bulgarian leaders welcome Georgieva’s appointment to European Commission senior post

Bulgaria’s top state and government leaders have welcomed the September 10 announcement that the country’s European Commission nominee, Kristalina Georgieva, will be the EC Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources in the forthcoming Jean-Claude Juncker commission that takes office in November 2014.

Georgieva, Bulgaria’s European Commissioner since 2010 and holder of the humanitarian aid and crisis response portfolio in the current Jose Barroso commission, earlier had been tipped for the foreign policy chief post, but this went to Italy’s Federica Mogherini as part of a deal among EU political parties.

Announcing Georgieva’s portfolio on September 10, Juncker said that she had shown impeccable service in the current commission and had won the respect of people and governments around the world, and had built an impressive network of contacts.

According to an EC statement, “to ensure that resources are allocated according to the Commission’s political priorities and to ensure that every action delivers maximum performance, the Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources will vet all Commission initiatives for their budgetary and personnel implications”.

Georgieva also will be asked to further modernise European public administration, including by making stronger use of digital technologies. She will have the task of bringing the representation of women in the European Commission’s senior and middle management to 40 per cent by the end of the five-year term of office of the Juncker commission.

Georgieva will monitor the EC’s directorates-general on budget, human resources, translations, and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). She will also monitor services payments and appointments, infrastructure and logistics. Her responsibilities will also extend to the European Personnel Selection Office and the European School of Administration.

Bulgaria’s head of state President Rossen Plevneliev said that Georgieva’s appointment as an EC Vice-President and the fact that she was entrusted with one of the most important and influential portfolios represented a really high opinion of Georgievs as a professional and a convinced European.

It was the first time that Bulgaria had received such a high position in the European Commission, Plevneliev said.


“This is a considerable success for the country and will contribute to the improvement of its positions in Europe and to the strengthening of EU integration processes,” he said.

“I hope that with this choice, everyone in Bulgaria will understand that our pessimism is illusory and that we should be more ambitious. And when we have a really strong application which undoubtedly was that of Kristalina Georgieva, we must be able to set aside our partisan bias and support solutions that are good for the country. Bulgaria’s success has no colour and party affiliation, and today’s event is undoubtedly a great achievement for our country,” Plevneliev said.

Caretaker Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki said that he would very much like it if Georgieva’s appointment made Bulgaria “feel a fully-fledged EU member”.

Bliznashki said that he had spoken to Georgieva, who had told him that the responsibility that she was taking on was huge, as she would have to manage a budget of about 140 billion euro and a staff of about 30 000.

“This means large-scale work, huge responsibilities. I am certain she will manage it. What I could sincerely wish her is support from the whole Bulgaria,” Bliznashki said.

Bulgarians should be glad about the recognition given to Georgieva and he said that the country had made the correct choice in nominating her again as a European Commissioner.

Boiko Borissov, leader of the centre-right GERB party – which when in government first nominated Georgieva and in 2014 called for her to nominated again, amid a domestic political squabble involving the now-departed ruling axis – said that Georgieva had received one of the most complex portfolios in the commission, and this was recognition of her work and of Bulgaria.

Juncker also announced on September 10 that Bulgaria’s Mina Andreeva would be one of three principal spokespeople for his commission.

Andreeva (31) previously was spokesperson for European Justice and Fundamental Rights Commissioner Viviane Reding. Andreeva is the daughter of Alexander Andreev, head of the Bulgarian section of Deutsche Welle.

(Photo of Juncker and Georgieva: EC Audiovisual Service)



The Sofia Globe staff

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