Bratušek Formally Candidate for Commissioner


Juncker has submitted the names to the Council, which has to formally endorse the list, whereupon he will reveal the distribution of portfolios, presumably next week.

Organigrams leaked by several European media outlets this week suggest that Bratušek is slated to become a vice-president of the Commission in charge of the digital agenda and innovation, or for the energy union.

This would appear to uphold unofficial reports from mid-August that Slovenia would get a vice-presidential post in the Commission if it nominates Bratušek.

After the portfolios are divided the candidates will appear before the relevant committees of the European Parliament, which will take a final vote on the entire Commission in late October.

Given how unpopular the choice of Bratušek is in Slovenia, two parties, the Social Democrats (SD) and the Democrats (SDS), have suggested in strong terms they would try to obstruct Bratušek's appointment.

But SD MEP Tanja Fajon, one of the other two candidates put forward for Juncker's consideration by Slovenia, adopted a conciliatory tone on Friday, expressing hope for the agitation over commissioner appointment to calm down in Slovenia.

Noting that it is now clear Bratušek was Juncker's first choice, Fajon said she was not in the least disappointed, but rather very happy to be on the list and to be so well received at home.

Fajon and Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec were the favourites of Prime Minister-elect Miro Cerar for the job, also because they come from parties forming the new coalition with Cerar's SMC party.

"I wish Bratušek to enjoy support at home, to restore trust from people in order to be able to start her term well and to dispel all doubts surrounding her nomination.

"I wouldn't want for Slovenians in the European Parliament to come a situation where they would have to work against the Slovenian commissioner," said Fajon, adding that she was bothered by her EPP colleagues' campaign against Bratušek.

Fajon also projected that the hearings of commissioner nominees in the European Parliament would be tough as expectations for the next European Commission are high.