The Slovenia Times

PM Cerar Supports Erjavec, Fajon for Slovenian EU Commissioner



Cerar supported both candidates who come from the emerging coalition parties: outgoing Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, who is also the president of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), and MEP Tanja Fajon of the Social Democrats (SD).

The third candidate on the list, which was compiled by the outgoing Alenka Bratušek government, is Bratušek herself, something Cerar has been critical of.

The move comes after Cerar had originally backed incumbent Commissioner Janez Potočnik for a third term before the outgoing government compiled the list that Potočnik did want to a part of.

Cerar had also mentioned a potential repeat of the nomination process should this be possible and Potočnik indicated he would consider running in this case.

The list of candidates became controversial and has also come under scrutiny by the country's anti-graft watchdog due to the fact that Bratušek in fact nominated herself.

Cerar also highlighted this as a key reason why his SMC party decided not to invite Bratušek's party ZaAB into the emerging government coalition.

In July, foreign diplomatic sources in Brussels have indicated that Juncker favoured Bratušek as Slovenia's candidate, not least to fill the women quota on the European Commission.

While the new Slovenian cabinet is yet to be formed and will then have to be endorsed by parliament, Juncker's spokesperson Natasha Bertaud has explained Juncker would start forming the final list of candidates for commissioners next week.

Meanwhile, if Fajon was appointed commissioner, this could affect the ongoing negotiations among coalition parties regarding the new ministerial lineup.

Reportedly, DeSUS might demand another ministerial post should Fajon be appointed.

Asked how many ministerial posts the SD would be ready to give up in that case, SD leader Dejan Židan has indicated the EU commissioner appointment procedure was not a part of the coalition contract and that their agreement with Cerar on getting three ministerial posts was clear.


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