Saturday

29th Apr 2017

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).

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 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.

EPP group frustrated with Orban

Orban's ruling Fidesz party is getting too much to handle for the EPP group, as they are once again forced to defend the Hungarian premier's controversial actions.

Analysis

Orban set to face down EU threats

The European Commission and Parliament are to debate Hungary's slide into illiberal democracy. But the bloc continues to think that Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is not a systemic threat.

France still anxious over possibility of Le Pen win

Despite opinion polls that place centrist Macron well ahead of the far-right leader Le Pen in the 7 May presidential run-off, doubts are emerging about his capacity to unite the French people around his candidacy.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process