Sunday

4th Dec 2016

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.

MEP barred from questioning Oettinger on plane trip

The Hungarian Green MEP who uncovered EU Commissioner Oettinger's flight to Budapest on a private plane of a lobbyist was not allowed to ask the German politician on the issue in the EP.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security