Maros Sefcovic, Slovakia’s European Commissioner and Vice President in charge of the energy union, hinted that he wants to become the next European Commission president. Drawing on the support from the Visegrad 4 countries — Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland — plus Bulgaria, the Czechs proposed the nomination of Mr. Sefcovic.
Mr. Sefcovic said that he was ready to build on this proposal as well as positive signals from other partners in the region. “I believe European Social Democrats have a lot to offer in terms of solutions to the current challenges and I would like to, among other things, focus on ways to modernize our economies, making them cleaner, smarter, while ensuring that nobody is left behind.” The Slovak Commissioner also admitted that the process was long and difficult but he said he would do everything to get the support of social democrat parties across the bloc.
The move comes approximately a year before the elections to the European Parliament and thus facilitate the process of selecting the new Commission President. The European Socialists – the second largest party in the European Parliament – have not yet put forward their candidate but committed themselves to the process under which the candidate will be proposed. Other possible candidates include the EU’s head of diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini and former Parliament President Martin Schulz. The successor of Jean-Claude Juncker must be agreed upon by leaders of the member states following the May 2019 elections. The nominee must also be approved by EU lawmakers before he or she assumes the office in November 2019.