Thursday

18th Apr 2019

EU prepares to let commissioner go to UN

  • EU budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva (l) with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon (c) and EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (Photo: European Commission)

Bulgaria's government meets on Tuesday (13 September) amid rumours it may nominate the Bulgarian EU commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, as its official candidate for the next UN chief.

The country’s current choice, Unesco boss Irina Bokova, reportedly faces opposition among some permanent members of the UN security council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The speculation that Sofia could replace her with Georgieva emerged over the weekend, but has not been confirmed.

Martin Selmayr, the influential head of cabinet of the EU commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, fuelled debate on Twitter last Saturday by saying that Georgieva "would make strong UNSG [UN secretary general], and many Europeans proud".

But a commission spokesman explained on Monday the tweet was not an official endorsement, adding: "I don't think one conclusion [her candidacy] follows from the other [Selmayr's praise]".

Meanwhile, the outgoing UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, would like to see a female successor. Civil society groups and nearly a third of the 193 UN member states have rallied behind his call. The UN has never had a female leader in its 70 years of history.

Amid the swirl of rumour, one EU official told this website that many people in Brussels would be delighted to see Georgieva take the helm in New York.

”It would be a great loss for us, but it would be fantastic for the UN. She could do a great job", he said.

”The question is whether she would be acceptable to Russia,” he added.

Moscow had previously championed Bokova.

But according to Russia’s state-run agency Tass, German chancellor Angela Merkel recently tried to make Georgieva's case to president Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in China.

Sofia has not officially included the Bulgarian candidacy for the UN post in the cabinet’s agenda.

One source in Sofia also told the Reuters news agency that it is ”odd” for others to try to sway its choice of nominee.

"The Bulgarian prime minister is in a very difficult situation … Seems he has not decided yet," the source said.

The next secretary general will be chosen by the UN general assembly and the security council later this month.

EU commission plans bolstering rule of law toolbox

As EU concerns over rule of law in some member states grow, the commission opens a debate on tools to discipline unruly member states. The EU executive has launched a new probe against Poland, and put Romania on the spot.

Opinion

Catalan independence trial is widening Spain's divides

What is really needed is not the theatre of a rebellion trial, but a forensic examination of whether public funds were misused, and a process of dialogue and negotiation on how the Catalan peoples' right to self-determination can be satisfied.

Orban hosts Weber in Budapest for EPP showdown

The future of the Viktor Orban's Fidesz party inside the European Parliament's centre-right EPP political group hangs in the balance. On Tuesday, Orban and EPP chief Manfred Weber meet in Budapest in a final effort to iron out differences.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us