The Slovenia Times

Cerar Party for Delaying Commissioner Appointment Until August


The SMC believes the focus should be on finding non-partisan candidates, underscoring the candidate should be a highly-regarded person with sufficient expertise and experience to be able to run one of the major departments in the European Commission.

In a written statement released on Monday, the party described the candidate's required qualities as a high-level of integrity, excellent language skills and political sensitivity to be able to reconcile the mission of the commissioner with the interests of Slovenia and other members of the EU.

The party calls on Bratušek to consult SMC president Miro Cerar and representatives of some other newly-elected parliamentary parties. As the new commissioner's term coincides with the term of Slovenia's new government, the party believes the opinions of the parties likely to form the future coalition should be taken into consideration.

Commenting on the names of potential candidates circulated in public, the party assesses that none of the potential candidates who are either members or presidents of a political party enjoy sufficient or indisputable support.

Meanwhile, Jožef Horvat of New Slovenia (NSi) proposed to the outgoing government to obtain the name of the candidate for the new commissioner in consultations with the parties that won the European election in Slovenia, and then reconcile the proposal with the National Assembly.

Horvat would want the government to consult the Democratic Party (SDS), NSi and the People's Party (SLS), the centre-right parties that won five out of eight Slovenian seats in the European Parliament in the 25 May election. He says such a procedure would be in line with democratic standards and the Lisbon Treaty.

He moreover proposed for the National Assembly to pass a special decision at the 1 August maiden session that would enable the formation of an interim committee on EU affairs at the inaugural session, so it could debate the candidate the government selected in consultations with the three parties.

Horvat expects that Cerar would agree with the proposal, although he has not discussed it either with Cerar or with the SDS or SLS. He would neither reveal any names, but said there were quite a few people in Slovenia fit to do the job.

Slovenia needs to put forward a candidate for the commissioner to president-elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in coming weeks.

Bratušek has said her government will refer the nomination to Brussels by the end of the month. She has not denied that she is interested in assuming the post herself, but her coalition partners have indicated they would not support her.

Aside from the outgoing Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, who expressed interest in bidding for his third term at the European Commission, several other names have been been circulated in public.

One partner in the outgoing coalition, the Social Democrats (SD) have proposed outgoing Labour Minister Anja Kopač Mrak, MEP Tanja Fajon, and Slovenia's ambassador to the EU Rado Genorio as potential candidates.


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