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Sikorski candidate for EU foreign policy chief

PR dla Zagranicy
John Beauchamp 01.08.2014 09:05
Prime Minister Donald Tusk has announced the candidacy of Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski to become the EU’s next foreign policy chief as well as Vice-President of the European Commission.

Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

“For [the opposition] Law and Justice, Sikorski’s too soft against the Russia, while EU politicians think he’s too strong. Everyone thinks he’s competent, though: so he’s just right,” Tusk Tweeted, Thursday evening.

The announcement comes as EU leaders did not manage to choose a new High Representative at a recent summit in Brussels, at which EU leaders voiced their reservations at Sikorski’s tough stance against Moscow.

Sikorski’s affiliation with the Christian-Democrat European People’s Party also proved a sticking point, after it transpired that French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel mooted their wish for the post to be held by a woman from the leftist Socialists and Democrat group.

“I see a certain logic – if the head of the European Commission is a Christian Democrat man, then the head of the EU’s diplomacy should be a socialist woman: and that eliminates Radoslaw Sikorski,” Merkel said.

However, some EU diplomats are saying that if a female socialist becomes head of the European Council – which is possible, as the major candidate for the position is the socialist Danish prime minister Danii Helle Thorning-Schmidt – then no one will contest the EU High Representative position.

Earlier in June, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that Poland is interested in the energy, competition and internal market portfolios.

Meanwhile, the favourite for the top diplomatic post is Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini, although her candidacy has been downplayed by countries in the eastern EU for being too lightweight in her stance towards Moscow.

EU member states had until Thursday to submit their nominations for the Euroepan Commission posts, with the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker planning to announce the make-up of the new European Commission at a summit planned for 30 August.

Following consultations in the European Parliament billed for September, the new Commission should get down to work from 1 November.

However, EC press spokeswoman Natasha Bertraud told journalists on Thursday that there may be a delay in calling up the new Commission if not enough women are among the candidates.

Only two countries have officially nominated women for the top EU posts, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

According to Bertraud, Juncker – who was elected in to the EC top position in mid-July by MEPs – is undergoing “intense consultations” with EU leaders. “If we don’t find a solution, then we may have to spend more time to establish the Commission,” she said. (jb)

Source: PAP

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