The Liberal Group has announced the agreement with the other candidate, Olli Rehn. The current Commissioner reported to be considered as a candidate “for other important positions in economic or foreign affairs”
Olli Rehn renounced the candidacy as EU Commission President and the Liberals and Democrats Group chose its candidate two weeks before their Congress on February 1st: Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian Prime Minister and current ALDE leader. He got the green light thanks to the agreement reached, announced by Sir Graham Watson, ALDE President: “the two candidates will jointly lead the electoral campaign, on an equal footing.” The two will have very different roles though: Verhofstadt is the candidate for EU Commission Presidency, while Rehn, current EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, is the candidate “for other important European positions, in economic or foreign affairs.”
This is good teamwork, with two strong candidates for any result of the following European Parliament Elections: in case of Verhofstadt’s failure in competing for the European Commission Presidency, Rehn could be a candidate for his current role of Commissioner. Alternatively, he could compete for succeeding Ms Ashton as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, role he already had before the current one.
“We are lucky to have two extremely well-qualified candidates in the frame for primary EU positions. I look forward to our electoral meeting in order to propose them our agreement,” said Watson, announcing he has written to the Direction in order to have the agreement approved during the meeting in Brussels on the 1st of February. “I am convinces this will be a Liberals and Democrats’ rigorous and effective election campaign, for a more liberal Europe.”
“We must elucidate a new and positive vision for the EU of tomorrow that builds on what has been achieved over the past 60 years but works more efficiently and effectively,” says Verhofstadt, “I am glad to play a role in this effort.”