Wednesday

28th Feb 2024

EU commissioner Schmit will be S&D's Spitzenkandidat

  • The 70-year-old Luxembourgish politician will be officially elected at the S&D party congress in Rome in early March (Photo: EC - Audiovisual Service)
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The Socialists & Democrats have named EU commissioner for jobs and social rights Nicolas Schmit as their lead candidate — or so-called Spitzenkandidat — for the June European elections.

Luxembourg's Schmit, who has a relatively low public profile, is poised to engage in a political contest against the expected centre-right candidate and current EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, for the top job at the EU executive.

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The 70-year-old Schmit will be officially elected at the party congress in Rome, in early March.

Previous to his role as commissioner, he served as foreign affairs and labour minister for the Luxembourg government of ex-EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and as Luxemburg's ambassador to the EU.

From 2019, he was also an MEP, serving on the parliament's committee of employment and social affairs.

As a commissioner, some of his top proposals include the minimum wage directive, the minimum income initiative, the SURE instrument and the platform work directive.

"We do not talk anymore about creating jobs — we are talking about creating quality jobs. The objective is to create quality jobs, to be competitive, to be innovative, and also for social justice and social inclusion," he said this week during a plenary session in Strasbourg.

His candidature was the only one received to lead the Socialists and Democrats in the upcoming elections.

"Schmit stands for a stronger Europe that defends its values against a resurgent far-right," the socialists said in a statement.

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