Starting his third term as Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Boiko Borissov has told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that his cabinet will discuss a candidate to fill Bulgaria’s vacant seat on the EC at its first scheduled meeting on May 10.
Bulgaria has been without a European Commissioner since January 1 2017 when the resignation of Kristalina Georgieva, who has been EC Vice President for budget and human resources, took effect.
Georgieva’s resignation was announced on October 28, but the second Borissov government – which resigned after his political party was defeated in November presidential elections but remained in office until January 27 – did not put forward a nominee to replace her.
At one point, then-caretaker Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdzhikov said that his cabinet would nominate a candidate if no government was formed within 10 days of the March parliamentary elections. He also said that the candidate would be a woman. Nothing happened.
In a telephone conversation on May 5, Juncker urged the Bulgarian government to nominate a member of the European Commission as soon as possible. Borissov pledged that the matter would be discussed at the first meeting of the cabinet, next Wednesday.
The Juncker Commission has been in office since November 1 2014 and is due to remain in office until 2019.
The Bulgarian candidate, once in office, will not inherit Georgieva’s portfolio, which already has been passed on to Günther Oettinger.
Bulgaria is due to hold the rotating presidency of the European Council in the first half of 2018.