Thursday

23rd Nov 2017

Budget commissioner Georgieva leaves for UN campaign

  • Georgieva leaves as negotiations on the EU budget are reaching a final stage. (Photo: European Commission)

EU budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is taking unpaid leave to campaign for the post of UN secretary general after being chosen as Bulgaria's candidate.

Her duties will be taken over by Guenther Oettinger, the German EU commissioner in charge of digital economy, just as negotiations on the EU 2017 budget and the revision of the EU budget for 2014-2020 are reaching a final stage.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov picked Georgieva, who was in charge of humanitarian aid in the previous commission, to replace Irina Bokova as the country's candidate.



Bokova, the current head of UN cultural body UNESCO, came sixth in a straw poll among the 15 members of the UN security council on Monday, making her an outsider for the job.

Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister and current UN high commissioner for refugees, came first in the poll. Slovakia's foreign minister Miroslav Lajcak came in second.

Georgieva said in statement that she was "deeply honoured" and "mindful" of the great responsibility, opportunities and challenges of the UN position.

Speculation about Georgieva's UN bid had been around for several months, and were heightened in early September when Martin Selmayr, the head of cabinet of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, endorsed a possible candidacy.

"Kristalina would make strong UNSG, and many Europeans proud," he said in a message posted on Twitter.

According to a UN practice, it is Europe's turn to hold the secretary general position. Russia, a security council permanent member with a veto power, said it would prefer an Eastern European, triggering rumours of a possible veto on Guterres.

Russian support for Georgieva, a vice-president of the EU commission, is not guaranteed. But Borissov announced her candidacy a day after speaking with Russian president Vladimir Putin, which could mean he had some assurances from Moscow.

If Georgieva were to be chosen, she would be the second commissioner to leave the Juncker commission, after Britain's Jonathan Hill quit in June following the Brexit vote in the UK.

The commission said on Wednesday that Georgieva would take an unpaid leave "during the month of October", although the UN process could last longer.

"During this period, Kristalina Georgieva and the European Commission will ensure a strict separation between activities relating to her candidacy and her work as member of the college [of commissioners] in a fully transparent manner," commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

EU prepares to let commissioner go to UN

EU budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is increasingly emerging as Europe's top candidate for the prestigious UN secretary general post.

Amsterdam wins EU medicines agency on coin toss

The staff of the London-based EMA will move to the Dutch city of Amsterdam after Brexit, following a coin toss. Chance also decided the new home of the European Banking Authority: Paris.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

News in Brief

  1. Spain sends migrant arrivals to unfinished prison
  2. Iceland prepares for biggest volcano to blow
  3. Greek parliament postpones debate on Saudi arms deal
  4. Family of murdered Malta journalist to sue police
  5. UK to sell RBS bank stake, boosting government coffers
  6. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  7. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  8. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  5. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  6. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  7. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  10. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  11. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  12. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!

Latest News

  1. Eastern partners, eastern problems
  2. Germany's Schulz under pressure to enter coalition talks
  3. LuxLeaks trial re-opens debate on whistleblowers' protection
  4. Wilders says Russia is 'no enemy' ahead of Moscow visit
  5. EU must put Sudan under microscope at Africa summit
  6. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  7. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  8. Commission warns Italy over high debt level