A Slovak member of the European Commission announced his candidacy for successor to the current President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Maroš Šefčovič said he would seek a nomination from the left-wing group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. Šefčovič is currently Vice-President of the Commission, headed by Juncker.

If approved by the EU Member States and the European Parliament, he will hold the presidency in November next year.

It was Šefčovič as Commissioner for the Energy Union who met with BSP Chairman Cornelia Ninova at 4 June in Bratislava. Together they commented that the Belene project is important for Bulgaria and the EU. Šefčovič expressed a position that the Bulgarian government must prepare and submit an economic and financial statement to the project and submit them to the Commission.

In March, Šefčovič also met with the President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, who described energy policy as a key factor for global security. They confirmed the country’s readiness to support gas connectivity initiatives in the EU, to reduce energy dependency and develop a green and clean economy.

Maroš Šefčovič himself has diplomatic education from Moscow, which makes it an interesting figure against the backdrop of the constant search for a balance in relations between the EU and Russia. It is precisely its experience in energy policies that can be key to achieving common interests in this area. He studied at the University of Economics in Bratislava and after that International Relations at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations. He occupied a variety of diplomatic posts since 1991. He was also acting European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy (16 October – 28 November 2012), as well as European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth (1 October 2009 – 10 February 2010).

Other potential candidates for the post are the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier, the Managing Director of IMF Christine Lagarde and EU Competition Commissioner Margret Vestager