If Belgium intends to occupy an important role in the new EU executive led by the German Ursula von der Leyen, it should not delay in the nomination of its candidate Commissioner, MEP Kris Peeters (CD&V) commented on Monday on VRT radio.
However, this did not mean he was himself interested in the function.
EU countries have until August 26 to designate their representative in the European Commission. It will then be up to Ms. von der Leyen to distribute responsibilities between her team members.
Belgium is one of five countries that have not yet designated their candidate Commissioner, which “puts us at risk of inheriting the least important tasks”, Peeters said. “It is important that we decide in time to be confided competencies that can make a difference,” he insisted.
Who could be the future Belgian EU Commissioner? “Several names are regularly quoted, but what counts is to have someone who has competencies that can achieve a lot for Europe, but also for Belgium,” the Flemish Christian Democrat responded.
He refused, however, to say if he is himself a candidate for the function: “I know from experience that it is not very wise to speak publicly about that.”
One of the avenues mentioned would be to renew CD&V Marianne Thyssen’s current position in the Commission for a second term. “I think she has clearly made the decision to end her political career. But, you have to ask her,” Peeters said.
Last month, when questioned on her political career, Thyssen said she might consider an extension of her mandate to the Commission should a specific request be addressed to her.
The choice of the new Commissioner is to be made by Charles Michel’s outgoing government.