Tuesday

30th May 2017

EU commission vote delayed as Bulgarian nominee steps down

  • Ms Georgieva: the EU's new humanitarian aid commissioner? (Photo: president.tatar.ru)

Following days of questions over her financial interests and her competence to be the EU's aid commissioner, Bulgaria's Rumiana Jeleva on Tuesday (19 January) stepped aside as her country's nominee in a move that is to delay the installation of the new commission for several weeks.

Ms Jeleva announced her resignation in a letter sent to commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and Joseph Daul, the leader of the centre-right EPP, her political family.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The page long letter, bitter in tone, complains about a three month campaign seeking to "fully discredit" her, meaning she feared she would not be treated objectively when MEPs in the development committee were due to take their decision on her late on Wednesday.

Mr Daul said he was "very sorry" to hear of her decision and called her the "victim of a rather contemptible little squabble."

Mr Barroso said he "took note" of Ms Jeleva's withdrawal and welcomed the "swift reaction of the Bulgarian government to this situation."

Sofia plans to send Kristalina Georgieva, currently a vice-president of the World Bank, as its replacement candidate.

The Socialist group, which had originally gone after Ms Jeleva on financial interest questions and then on her suitability for the post, said her resignation was "inevitable and predictable."

"Her decision to go is the best outcome for everyone, including herself," said the group's leader Martin Schulz.

The Jeleva machinations mean the parliamentary vote on the entire commission, due next week on 26 January, will be delayed. It is now to take place on 9 February, parliament chief Jerzy Buzek said.

"Next week we won't have a vote on the commission," said Mr Daul, adding that as all the other commission nominees had six weeks to prepare for their hearings, "the new candidate should be given at least a couple of weeks." The new Bulgarian nominee is expected to be grilled by MEPs on 3 February.

Having come under attack for playing tit-for-tat politics when the EPP went after Slovak socialist nominee Maros Sefcovic in the wake of the Jeleva kerfuffle, Mr Daul said "don't expect any blood on the carpet. We are a responsible group."

He went on to berate Catherine Ashton, the socialist EU foreign policy chief, for not travelling to the devastated earthquake-struck Haiti over the weekend, however.

Meanwhile, Jozsef Szajer, a Hungarian MEP overseeing the hearings process for the EPP group, highlighted Olli Rehn (a Liberal nominee), Neelie Kroes (a Liberal) and Maria Damanaki (a socialist) for being unimpressive in their cross-examinations.

Rumiana Jeleva's resignation letter

The full text of the Rumiana Jeleva resignation letter, in an unofficial translation from Bulgarian into English by EUobserver.

IT security system risks EU fundamental rights

The EU commission wants to link up all centralised EU information systems for security, border, and migration management. The plan has drawn a sharp rebuke from the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency.

Macron and Putin hold uneasy first talks

French and Russian leaders agreed to "strengthen" ties at their first meeting, but exchanged jabs about Russian efforts to influence French elections.

Macron and Putin hold uneasy first talks

French and Russian leaders agreed to "strengthen" ties at their first meeting, but exchanged jabs about Russian efforts to influence French elections.

IT security system risks EU fundamental rights

The EU commission wants to link up all centralised EU information systems for security, border, and migration management. The plan has drawn a sharp rebuke from the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhat's Going on in Catalonia? Join the Debate on 8 June
  2. Swedish EnterprisesDo We Need a More Social Europe? A Lively Debate Awaits You on 7 June
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersDiscover the Role of Feminism in the Peripheries of Europe on 9 June
  4. Malta EU 2017EU Group Launched to Focus on Priorities and Policies Concerning Children
  5. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  7. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  8. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  9. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  10. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  11. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  12. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade

Latest News

  1. Nouvelles suspicions sur le groupe de Le Pen au Parlement européen
  2. EU sets out demands on post-Brexit people's rights
  3. IT security system risks EU fundamental rights
  4. Macron and Putin hold uneasy first talks
  5. From Greece to Scotland, we stand by Europe
  6. Juncker keen to build EU 'bridge' to Trump
  7. Ministers water down post-Dieselgate reform
  8. Club de combat: des espions russes recherchent des recrues européennes