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Socialist party VP to join race for Belgian EU Commissioner

The vice president of the Parti Socialist, Laurette Onkelinx, could enter the race to become Belgium's EU Commissioner. Credit: © Belga

The name of the vice president of the Parti Socialist (PS) is circulating as a possible contender for the post of Belgium’s European Union Commissioner, according to reports on Thursday.

The PS is thinking of pushing for Laurette Onkelinx’s to challenge liberal party (MR) member Didier Reynders as a French-speaking candidate for a top EU post, according to Le Soir.

Her nomination, which has not been officially confirmed by the party, comes after Onkelinx announced that her “active” political career would come to an end in 2019.

By nominating Onkelinx, the PS is looking to counteract the MR’s potential grip on two major EU posts, after the liberal party’s outgoing Prime Minister Charles Michel was appointed to lead the European Council.

“Two members of the same political party is not really representative of our country,” PS MEP Marie Arena told Bruzz.

The party said Onkelinx’s nomination would contribute to making the future EU Commission gender-balanced, according to Le Soir.

Additionally, with Belgium’s two previous commissioners being Dutch-speakers, the role is now expected to go to a Francophone, the paper reports.

Besides her role as a vice president of the PS, Onkelinx has served as Deputy Prime Minister, and held a number of positions in the federal government, including as minister of justice and of social affairs.

She also oversaw the recent formation of Brussels’ regional government, following the elections in May.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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