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EU could propose European candidate for WTO leadership

Credit: Belga

A majority of EU Member States are in favour of putting forward a single European candidate for the position of Managing Director for the World Trade Organisation (WTO), EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said on Tuesday.

Current Managing Director Roberto Azevedo announced last month that he would step down on 31 August, one year before the end of his second term. The procedure for the appointment of a new managing director was launched on Monday.

Speculation regarding possible candidates has begun, and the topic was on the menu on Tuesday at a videoconference meeting of EU foreign ministers on trade.

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While most states are in favour of a single candidate, this is an ongoing issue which will still be discussed “in the coming weeks,” said Hogan.

Hogan also addressed his own interest in the position. “I think there’s an important amount of work to be done to reform the organisation, to make it more effective and efficient,” he said.

“I remain in the exploratory stage of my own candidacy at the moment, so we’ll see how member states will subsequently respond when it comes to making a decision in the coming weeks,” he added.

The Brussels Times