News2019.06.25 16:30

Lithuanian foreign minister hints at eyeing EC position

Jūratė Damulytė, BNS 2019.06.25 16:30

The Lithuanian government should pick its candidate for the next European Commission, says the country's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, adding he may himself apply for the job.

“I wouldn't rule this out. I do have enough experience to participate in this competition,” he told the radio Žinių Radijas on Tuesday.

With talks on a new ruling coalition continuing, the government is not yet holding a formal discussion on a new European commissioner, but “opinions are probed, options considered,” according to Linkevičius.

“Of course, it is important to have an area where you can have a word, influence, significance, both nationally and internationally and at the EU level. But since all these processes have been protracted and we are also in the government formation process, there are too many unanswered questions,” he said.

A delay in selecting Lithuania's candidate reduces the country's chances of securing the area it wants to be responsible for, according to the minister.

“Time is an important factor, because if we make our decision very late, it will be very very difficult to participate in the distribution of areas of responsibility (and) we will have to take what is left,” the minister said.

“Therefore, despite the complicated internal processes, we should not delay making our decision for long,” he added.

Under the law, a candidate is to be nominated by the government and approved by the president.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has said that Lithuania will decide on its candidate after the next European Commission president is selected.

EU leaders will make another attempt to pick a candidate on 30 June.

The term of Vytenis Andriukaitis, the European Commission's Lithuanian member in charge of health and food safety, will end in autumn.

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