Monday, 17 February 2014

Juncker and Barnier face Baltic challenger as EPP’s top candidate

Former Luxembourg's Prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker (59) and EU internal market commissioner Michel Barnier (63), both EU politics veterans, will face a new challenger during the European People's Party's upcoming congress, which should designate the EPP's top candidate in the European elections (and thus the party's candidate as EU Commission president) in three weeks time.

In an interview to EUobserver, former Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis says "there is something from my work experience as a prime minister of Latvia which can be useful also at a European level." According to the newssite, Dombrovskis, 42, enjoys the support of the three Baltic states governments.

Does Dombrovski have any chance to succeed in his bid in Dublin's EPP congress? According to EUobserver,
Asked if he has received any signals from Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most powerful leader in the EPP family - Dombrovskis said that his candidacy is still a “work in progress." […] Merkel has so far refused to fully endorse any of the candidates. She said she has "great sympathy" for Juncker, but added that the final decision will be taken in Dublin.

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