Independent Balkan News Agency

Bulgarian caretaker FM: Who, not when, matters in nominating European Commissioner

Bulgarian caretaker FM: Who, not when, matters in nominating European Commissioner

Bulgarian caretaker Foreign Minister Radi Naidenov said on February 23 that it does not matter when the country nominates a new European Commissioner but who the nominee will be.

Naidenov was speaking a month and 23 days after Bulgaria no longer had a member of the European Commission, following the resignation of Kristalina Georgieva to take up the post of World Bank chief executive.

A career diplomat whose CV includes having been the permanent secretary of the Foreign Ministry from 2001 to 2012, Naidenov warned that the choice of a candidate European Commissioner should not become a matter for clashes in the campaign ahead of Bulgaria's March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections.

Boiko Borissov left office as prime minister without his government having made a nomination. There has been public debate about whether the Ognyan Gerdzhikov caretaker cabinet should make the nomination, or leave it to an elected government.

Gerdzhikov has expressed an interest in coming up with a nominee, but in recent days said that his government would not do so now, but might later in its term.

Naidenov said: "We have no idea what the results would be after March 26, but if you follow the polls, it outlines that two main parties have similar results. If we create conditions for more clashes at the beginning, we will limit their options at the end".

As the mechanism for negotiations was shaped, there should be a consolidated position of the EU member states, Naidenov said.

"Personally, my belief is that our strength lies in unity, we must preserve unity in the EU," he said.

Bulgaria's EU presidency would give the country to opportunity to introduce itself as an active participant in European politics, "a country that handles the tasks it faces," Naidenov said./IBNA

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