The Slovenia Times

Govt nominates Lenarčič for Slovenia's European commissioner


The cabinet backed Lenarčič, put forward on Wednesday as an independent expert by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec without prior consultation with coalition partners, in a 13:3 vote.

It was the three ministers from the ranks of the SocDems who voted against, which is in keeping with the junior coalition party's criticism of Šarec picking Lenarčič instead of SocDem MEP Tanja Fajon.

Coming out of a regular coalition meeting held this morning, SocDem deputy group head Matjaž Han limited his criticism to the way Šarec handled the procedure, echoing other coalition partners' comments that the PM should have consulted them beforehand.

"There needs to be at least a modicum of respect in the coalition. This is why the presidents of the parties are also in a separate meeting now to talk about how to proceed," Han said, while speaking of a "commissioner saga".

Lenarčič said he was happy with the nomination, adding however that he "would have wanted unanimous support, because this would have helped in the coming stages".

The candidate will now appear before the parliamentary EU Affairs Committee whose opinion is not binding for the government. Lenarčič said in his written response that he will be happy for all the votes he gets.

His nomination will then be sent to the new European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and, provided Lenarčič receives a nod from her, to the European Parliament, where he will have to convince the relevant committee.


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