Best of the rest – candidates for President of the European Commission

Following my previous posts about likely EPP and PES candidates for President of the European Commission, what about other candidates not from either of the main political forces? With no party likely to achieve an overall majority in the European Parliament after the 2014 elections, could a compromise candidate somehow win the day? Here are some names to get you thinking, although I think all of the names listed here are less likely than the politicians listed in the EPP and PES posts.

Liberals
rasmussenThe third force in the European Parliament is the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe. From this party two strong characters could be in the running. Former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen [Wikipedia] is nearing the end of his time as Secretary General of NATO, but may be a better fit for another Brussels position (such as President of the European Council). Neelie Kroes [Wikipedia] is the only member of the current Commission who had a citizen campaign for her re-nomination, but does she have stomach for more political work, now aged over 70? Guy Verhofstadt [Wikipedia], leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament and former Belgian Prime Minister, would love to the Commission President, but I am not sure anyone else would love the prospect. Cecilia Malmström [Wikipedia] has been an effective member of the European Commission, and is determined and dynamic, but I suspect is not adequately well known to achieve the top job.

Greens
fischerThe European Greens will hold a primary to choose their two top EP candidates, and presumably one or other of those people would be a nominee to be Commission President too. The best known green at EU level – Daniel Cohn-Bendit [Wikipedia] has stated however that he wishes to retire from the EP in 2014. Cohn-Bendit’s co-chair in the EP Rebecca Harms [Wikipedia], or her German colleague Reinhard Bütikofer [Wikipedia] who is chair of the European Greens Party, might be possibles. Could the best known Green of them all, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer [Wikipedia] make a comeback?

Others
In the current European Commission, Kristalina Georgieva [Wikipedia] has been one of the most effective members, although she is not party political. Could there be a role for her as a compromise candidate somehow?

  Posts about EU top candidates 2014
President of the Commission: EPP, PES, Others | President of the European Council | High Rep for EU Foreign Policy

Image credits – all Creative Commons / Sharealike licensed
Anders Fogh Rasmussen by Chatham House | Joschka Fischer by das blaue Sofa

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9 comments

  1. Julien

    The campaign has already begun in the European Green Party, there are not less than 4 official candidates for nomination who have been endorsed by their national parties: José Bové (France), Rebecca Harms (Italy), Ulrike Lunacek (Austria), Ska Keller (Green Youth). The vote will take place in October. Exciting!

    Disappointing to see how little media coverage this internal election gets. However I would be very interested if you have any details on the campaign: who do other national parties support, do these candidates have differing programmes, are there alliances, etc… ?

  2. The making of European leaders: who selects the president(s)? | Polscieu

    […] candidates for the next European Commission President (of the centre-right, the centre left, or the rest), for the next European Council President and for the next EU foreign minister (“High […]

  3. Jon

    Two more posts in this series:
    High Rep
    President of the European Council

  4. Julien

    I’d also like to thank Jon Worth! And also if you have more détails about the selection procédures of the 4 main parties : )

  5. Christian

    Rumour has it that Georgieva will rather seek a role in Bulgaria and may not even finish here term in Brussels.

  6. Hervé Devavry

    More details on selection of EC President:
    Last week at S&D group chairman Hannes Swoboda MEP said that S&D MEPs candidate would be current EP President Martin Schulz. However, this doesn’t mean that he would be supported by all socialist leaders. Today the S&D group spokewoman stressed that the issue was in the hands of the PES, not the S&D group in the Parliament.
    The ALDE would publish its election manifesto in November and designation of the candidate would take place in the margins of December EU Summit.
    Concerning the Greens, the Greens group spokeman confirmed that primaries would designate the two top candidates. He said that votes would take place on Internet and involve all Greens’ sympathisers. The deadline for candidacies is 17 October. He reconfirmed what Daniel Cohn-Bendit said last week: the Greens are aware that the next EC President won’t be from their political family but would participate and support this democratic process.
    The ECR – or at least British Torries – are opposed to the designation of the next EC President.

  7. Jens

    Javier Solana to return?
    Pascal Lamy just left the S-G position at the WTO and has been a Commissioner before.
    Just a thought…

  8. Daniel

    Bütikofer declared not to run, Harms already announced she will. Cohn-Bendit doesn’t even like the idea of primaries, least taking part in them after having announced his retirement from EU politics (the only thing that could have changed his mind would have been the transnational lists). Thus for the Greens – who imho loose credibility with two leading candidates rather than one – it will be partially a race for candidates who would like to inherit DCB’s job as EP group co-chair.