Second Dutch candidate for European Commission president

Photo: Martin Pluimers

Bas Eickhout, leader of the Dutch green party GroenLinks in the European parliament, has been chosen as one half of the European green’s dual candidacy for the job of president of the European Commission, replacing Jean-Claude Juncker.

Eickhout and German green Ska Keller will jointly take part in the informal contest to determine who should be the European parliament’s candidate for the top European job. The position is known as the ‘spintzenkandidat’ or ‘lead candidate’.

Although technically, the European Council is charged with appointing the European Commission president, since 2014 the European parliament has been given more say. Now the job goes to the candidate nominated by the European political grouping which wins most seats in the next parliamentary elections. These take place in May 2019.

Green parties currently control 7% of the seats in the European parliament but some insiders say this could more than double at the May elections.

Frans Timmermans, currently the Netherlands’ European commissioner and vice president of the EU, is the lead candidate for the social democratic grouping (S&D) in the European parliament.


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