Bulgaria's EU Commissioner Nominee Must Have Broad Political Support

File photo, BGNES

Bulgaria will only nominate its next European Commissioner if a candidate enjoys support from across the political spectrum, outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said.

The commissioner should be proposed "either with huge consensus in Parliament on behalf of parliamentary parties or wait for an elected government," Borisov has told reporters.

However, unlike other officials of the cabinet in resignation, he has assumed that a new nomination may be submitted by his government.

Borisov has said he is ready to act according to both scenarios. The second option would mean Bulgaria may not have a new commissioner until early April, with elections not to be scheduled before the end of March.

Another widely discussed option has been to leave the choice to an interim government.

Kristlina Georgieva, the EU Commission Vice President for Budget and Human Resources, is leaving the office in January to become CEO at the World Bank Group. Bulgaria is yet to propose another commissioner candidate.

Amid speculation of a possible candidacy of either Lilyana Pavlova or Ekaterina Zaharieva, outgoing ministers of regional development and justice respectively, he has admitted Bulgaria might not go for a female candidate this time, with the two commissioners it has had so far being women.

"If this is wanted, I will gladly back a woman. [But] no-one has said it should be a woman..."

He has also made it clear the issue was not discussed during Thursday's European Council, the last one for 2016.

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