I’m at the final event of the Th!nk About It project in Rotterdam. We havge people from just about all Member States of the EU here, all of them bloggers, and the EP elections are now over. So how about use the knowledge in the room to look at the composition of the European Commission instead? Use the comments function to state who the likely European Commission nominees are from your country, and who you would like to get the nomination.

From the UK: likely nominees, and Ken Livingstone is who I would actively want to be the Commissioner.


  1. Hungary: Mr László Andor

    We have roughly 8 million eligible citizens, I would not have given a better odd than 1:500,000

  2. Latvian news agency LETA has finally written something about this topic, yehuu! 🙂 Just the only problem – it’s all based on our Minister of Foreign Affairs Maris Riekstins’ thoughts. According to him:
    a) Our current commissioner Andris Piebalgs wants to work as an ambassador of Latvia somewhere abroad, not in EC anymore;
    b) Maris Riekstins himself, if the prime minister would offer, would consider becoming a commissioner.

    Also TV news “Nothing Personal” has mentioned M. Riekstins as 2nd best candidate for this post.

    LETA also wrote that our prime minister has told that “New Era”‘s candidate for the commissioner is Solvita Aboltina, ex Minister of Justice and current Deputy Speaker of Latvian Parliament. “Nothing Personal” has mentioned her as the 1st best candidate.

  3. Kosmopolito

    Viviane Reding wants to stay Commissioner for Information Society but with a “broadened mandate”


  4. Kosmopolito

    Apparently Pat Cox wants to become the Irish Commissioner:


  5. @Antaldaniel

    Exactly the same in Austria. Austrian Prime Minister Faymann even said in an interview last week that the question who becomes Commission President is “not that important” and that the Commission is in fact more like an “administrative body”.

  6. See my post on Rotterdam and the next EU Commission at http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2009/6/18/185746/351. As a special bonus the post also includes an interview with the redoubtable Jon Worth looking splendid against the backdrop of Rotterdam harbour….

  7. Today’s news: The Hungarian Socialist prime minister, Mr Gordon Bajnai supports Barroso, although the Hungarian Socialist MEPs have campaigned on an anti-Barroso ticket.

  8. For Hungary, I think the most likely candidates are Mr László Kovács (the current commissioner for tax and customs), Mr Péter Balázs (former interim commissioner in 2004, current foreign minister) and Mr Ferenc Gyurcsány, the prime minister who resigned in March, and was rumored last year that he would like to swap his position to the commissioner’s.

    Given the current turmoil in Hungarian politics, any other candidate is possible. Both Mr Kovács and Mr Balázs are former diplomats and foreign minister, have held the job, and I think they are very skilled technocrats, especially Mr Kovács. Given the deep unpopularity of Mr Gyurcsány I think it is a bit unlikely that he would be nominated by his successor.

    As early elections can come any time, it may be the case that the right-wing will nominates somebody.

    I do not have an ‘ideal’ candidate. I think it is bad that first the governments give nominations and the portfolios are allocated to these people. It should be the other way around: the president of the Commission should find the most competent politician for each portfolio. For tax and customs I think Mr Kovács is a very suitable person from the possible candidates. The EU has little power here, the member states have sovereignty and all decisions have to be unanimous. Mr Kovács is a very skilled diplomat and negotiator, if the EU had sovereignty over his office he would find a way to negotiate the most out of it. But I would not recommend him for any portfolios where the EU has real power and a possibility to shape policy, like in environment, energy or even communications.

  9. Kosmopolito

    Androulla Vassiliou might be renominated by the Cypriot Government. In case she wants to keep the health portfolio, questions arise whether the Irish health minister Mary Harney could be a rival if she gets the Irish nomination…



  10. Hello,
    the three main contenders to be a European commissioner from Bulgaria are the present foreign minister Ivaylo Kalfin, the present commissioner Meglena Kuneva and current MEP Rumyana Zheleva. I have presented them shortly here – http://tinyurl.com/m3uorx as they were running for MEPs and all got elected. The choice of a Bulgarian commissioner will be made after the parliamentary elections and as there is no party able to secure full majority, the post might be part of the coalition bargaining. I am planning to organize a poll in the Bulgarian blogosphere who should the Bulgarian commissioner be and keep you updated.

  11. Ah yes, Hristo’s comment reminds me that there was a rumor on Twitter and maybe somewhere else that Sandra Kalniete (newly elected MEP and the women I mentioned in my previous comment) will be the next Commissioner, but she has rejected these rumors and said that she is not going to do it for sure.

  12. The Czech EU Council Presidency has a poll in three languages for or against Barroso (via Coulisses de Bruxelles).

    A chance to have your say.

  13. Schwan would be good (Koch would be a nightmare choice), but Germany would hardly settle for the education portfolio.

    I personally don’t think the 1-commissioner-per-MS is a bad idea (though I know the Commission needs sliming down at the top) – it would be far better to do away withthe MS governments’ right to appoint them.

  14. Nikola Richter

    I’d just like to throw another wishful thinking candidate for Germany into the ring: Gesine Schwan who was the SPD candidate for the office of the German federal president – and failed – but who has quite successfully been the dean of a German-Polish university in Frankfurt Oder amongst being a commentary on social and educative issues here and there. She would become commissioner for education, culture and youth. Fingers crossed!

  15. Matters are a bit complicated, because we won’t know for a while the number of Commissioners & countries; Nice or Lisbon?

  16. Kosmopolito

    Janusz Lewandowski will be the new Polish EU Commissioner http://is.gd/13sqj

  17. Thanks for all the ace comments people! We now have info for:


    I also know a bit about Bulgaria, Estonia, Slovenia, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden that I’ll add when I have a moment… Sadly we also know what will come from Portugal.

    So how about Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary…? Your ideas!

    (Oh, as for Peter in Dublin’s comment – I was OK with 2/3 of the number of MS getting Commissioners, but the Irish put an end to that…)

  18. I just tried to Google to find out what Latvian mass media write and discuss about our future commissioner and the answer is very simple – NOTHING! No articles, no thoughts, complete silence. LIke we wouldn’t need to select one at all…
    A month ago our politician Sandra Kalniete (who just got elected as one of the new MEPs) wrote in her blog (and yes, she is using Twitter as well :P) the same thing, hoping that this year we won’t have the same issues and problems with the nominees we had 5 years ago (she was one of the nominees at that time). Now she thinks that, the politicians have already started to discuss it, just not in the public yet: “Knowing our politicians’ traditions of the off-stage, for sure we can say that the consultation process has already started. Where? In the zoo? In the clouds? Next to Puze lake?”

    Honestly, I also have no idea who will be the nominees or who will become our commissioner… Would be good to see one of the previous MEPs or ministers in that position – somebody with an experience, a person we can trust, although there are not a lot of them in Latvia 🙂

    Will update you as soon as Latvian media or experts in politics will start to mention something about it!

  19. chourka

    For France: 2 possible names. Jacques BARROT (as he has nothing else than his current portfolio and represent the ‘Center’ wing of french presidential party UMP) and Michel BARNIER.
    The last one, as former Commissioner and top adviser of Sarkozy on EU Affairs is may be the one who has more chance to get the seat (especially the very poor results Bayrou and his center party (MoDem) made at this euro-election).

  20. we’d better get to work, otherwis elsevier outrun’s us! although I must say that their information seems a little outdated: according to the latest I’ve heard the new commissioner will come from the CDA. The PvdA is already disproportionately strong represented in regional government and the VVD is not a part of the coalition. As such that would rule out Neelie Kroes and Frans Timmermans (who, when asked also said he would not accept the post).
    Possible candidates according to this (http://www.europa-nu.nl/9353000/1/j9vvh6nf08temv0/vi55maopn8yn?ctx=vh9jntlyoetw): Gerda Verburg -secretary of agriculture-, Maria Verhoeven -secretary of economic affairs-, Cees Veerman -former secretary of agriculture-, Yvonne van Rooy -former secretary of economic affairs- and Clemence Ross -former undersecretary of Health, Care and Sports-. They haven’t really made up their mind yet.
    My personal preference is, not surprisingly, Neelie Kroes; just because she deserves it.

  21. Adi_Ocs

    Well, in Romania rumours has it that our nominee will be Dacian Ciolos (independent supported by president Basescu-EPP), our former minister for Agriculture, who is currently working within European Commission, in case we really take the Agriculture portofolio. Not very likely of course, having in mind our poor record in attracting structural funds and the very high stakes regarding the future of CAP. It seems we already have France’s support, but Germany and UK are rather against. So, in the likelier case that we get another portofolio, my proposal would be Mrs Anca Boagiu (EPP), our former Minister for European Integration, and Minister for Transports who previously worked for World Bank and has a good image in Brussels circles. Other names would be: Monica Macovei (related to Justice affairs-EPP), Mihai Tanasescu (currently working with IMF -PES), or Adrian Severin – Minorities or Enlargement -PES (the worst choice in my opinion).

  22. Rubinho


    The Social Democrats want Martin Schulz but its more likely that a CDU (centre-right) man will be send to Brussels (far better showing in the EP elections than the Social Democrats and for nearly 20 years the German commissioner was a SPD man).

    Prominent names are circulating:
    Roland Koch – Prime Minister of the Land Hesse
    Friedrich Merz – former MEP and former leader of the CDU parliamentary group (but not a friend of Merkel)
    Wolfang Schäuble – current secretary of the interior

    The first two are well known for their market liberalism which could cause trouble with the SPD, therefore Schäuble could be a good alternative because the SPD could live with him.

  23. Jon where’s your inline anarchist spirit?

    Much better to get rid of all commissioners

  24. Like Toby in Helsinki said, Olli Rehn seems to have backing from the Finnish government.

  25. Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite will officially take the position of the Lithuanian President from mid-July. Therefore, the government will have to nominate an interim Commissioner until the end of this term. It is also likely that the same person will continue serving in the new Commission (will depend on the portfolio).

    2-3 names are being spelled-out: current Finance Minister Algirdas Semeta is the front-runner; then — the Undersecretary of the Finance Ministry Ingrida Simonyte. There may be other candidates as well.

  26. Senior Ministry for Foreign Affairs chap told me that Olli Rehn is getting the nod again from Finland. This has various suggestions for most of the member states: http://www.cepsearch.org/sendstudionx/link.php?M=182490&N=147&L=8548&F=T

  27. In Ireland, Fianna Fáil would face a by-election, which they’d lose, if they put one of their sitting TDs (MPs) forward. So, they’ll have to pick from elsewhere.
    Possibilities include Pat Cox (as Stephen mentioned above), Eoin Ryan (former MEP), Gay Mitchell MEP (only if it gives a better portfolio than anyone else could get), Pat “the Cope” Gallagher MEP (may have been part of a deal to get him to run for MEP again in the first place) or Brian Crowley MEP (although unlikely – he wants to run for President of Ireland in 2011).
    Appointing a Senator is also a slight possiblility (the Government would hold the seat in a by-election), but there isn’t really anyone of suitable calibre in the Senate at the moment.

  28. For Malta:

    Joe Borg, the current European Commission for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs (Centre-Right)
    Richard Cachia Caruana, Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU (Centre-Right)
    Michael Frendo, former Foreign Affairs Minister and currently serving as Member of Parliament on behalf of the ruling Nationalist Party (Centre-Right)

    Borg is apparently not too likely!

  29. @Jacob – Yes, we know Poul Nyrup is not a runner… he’s one of the people the Danes at Think About It would like to see.

  30. Jacob Christensen

    Poul Nyrup isn’t happening – the left wing is too weak in the EP and the Danish government wouldn’t dream of nominating him.

    The question is if Boel will continue. If not, we will be looking at the Liberal ministers and then maybe some of the Conservatives:

    The only more detailed speculation, that I’ve seen, was made by some young Social Democrats who suggested that Consumer Affairs Minister Eva Kjer Hansen could be dispatched to Brussels.


  31. Europapolitik.at

    Austria: likely new Commissioner Wilhelm Molterer (ÖVP – EPP)


    (in any case not Ferrero-Waldner, who is heading for a UNESCO job)

  32. Stephen SPILLANE

    They can’t afford to send anyone from FF. Now that PD’s are gone (Cox’s party before he went Independent) FF can nominate him and face no worries. There was talk about Coughlan (The Tániste/Deputy PM) but if they do they have a bye-election in her constituency due to Pat “the Cope” Gallaghers election, not sure if they would allow two seats in one constituency go up for bye-election.

  33. @Stephen – but Cox is not FF either… there’s no FF person they might go for?

  34. Stephen SPILLANE

    Misread your comment (still recovering from last night and shock from today) yea, I read that. Cant remember, but I saw that post alright.

  35. Stephen SPILLANE

    It was on Euractive (see: http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/cox-tipped-irish-commissioner/article-182409). I cant see Fianna Fail nominating Bruton as he is Fine Gael. I think Cox is the most liekly candidate as his nomination will not cause a by-election, which Fianna Fail will most likely loose. Also the Greens back Cox.

  36. @Stephen – have you seen this about Cox? John Bruton’s name has also been mentioned.

  37. Netherlands – an excellent list from elsevier.nl. Likely NL candidates Neelie Kroes, Maria van der Hoeven and Frans Timmermans.

  38. Stephen SPILLANE

    Well I think the Irish commissioner nominee will be former President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox. Why do I think that? Mainly as it is believed that this is one of the requirements that ELDR put on Fianna Fail for joining. Cox will actually be a good commissioner as he is currently head of the European Movement. He understands the parliament so will be able to work with it well. It could be interesting!

  39. Denmark – likely that Mariann Fischer Boel will continue. Ideal candidate – Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

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