Diplomatic sources from Brussels report that Bratušek, as an experienced politician and female, would get one of the vice-presidential posts in the commission. The only problem is that the government (and politicians in general) is not unified on who it should send to Brussels.
Bratušek will try reach a consensus
The cabinet of the outgoing PM announced that Bratušek will try reach a consensus with others parties regarding the names and list of candidates for European commissioner before the deadline. "It is important that we send a name to Brussels which will be competent enough to carry out the tasks of a commissioner, and which will ensure that Slovenia gets an important commission," is what Bratušek's cabinet wrote. It added that if Slovenia wished to get a more influential position in the commission, it had to send its proposal with names before the deadline i.e. until the end of the week.
The cabinet of the outgoing PM also wrote that it had nothing to add regarding the reports that EC President Juncker would like to see Bratušek in his commission. On the other side the election winner, Miro Cerar's SMC Party, isn't commenting the latest information. On Tuesday the party openly backed Janez Potočnik for EU Commissioner. The SMC Party regards Potočnik to be by far the most suitable candidate for the position, as he has already established himself as a commissioner. The party also argued that Slovenia needed a fully operational commissioner and someone with great influence in European circles.
If Potočnik does become the new (old) commissioner, which would be his third mandate, he could very well get one of the commission's vice-presidential posts. Viviane Reding, the representative of Luxembourg, has been the only one so far to have served three mandates in the commission. She will assume one of the commission's vice-presidential posts in the next mandate as well.
Will there be one or more names traveling to Brussels?
However, just as it is with Bratušek, Potočnik doesn't enjoy sufficient support from government ranks. He would surely be backed only by MPs coming from the Civic List. The head of the DeSUS Pensioner's Party said he was also one of the candidates for commissioner, while the SD Social Democrats have put forward three other names.
Matjaž Trošt reported for Radio Slovenija that the country could also decide to send more names for the commission post. Apart from the outgoing PM Alenka Bratušek, the names include current commissioner Janez Potočnik, supported by Miro Cerar's SMC Party, foreign minister Karel Erjavec, and the names of the three candidates reportedly backed by the SD Social Democrats - Slovenia's ambassador to the EU, Rado Genorio, Tanja Fajon and Anja Kopač Mrak. EC President Juncker would then have to choose one. In that scenario Bratušek seems to have the best chance.
Without at least nine females, the EP will reject the team
So far 23 member states have sent Juncker their proposals for commission candidates. Apart from the name of Slovenia's candidate, the new European Commission President is also waiting for the proposals from Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Belgium. However, time is running out as member states have only until the end of the month, which is Thursday, to put forward their proposals.
Among the proposed candidates so far there are only three women - Vera Jourova from the Czech Republic, Kristalina Georgieva from Bulgaria, and Cecilia Malmström from Sweden – which is too little. The European Parliament has already announced that it will reject some of the suggestions and call for the naming of a new commission team, if Juncker doesn't name enough women commissioners. He will have to name at least nine females in his team. That is the number of female commissioners currently serving in the European Commission.
Sources from Brussels say that member states can also propose more than one candidate, just as Jean-Claude Juncker did when he was Luxembourg's PM at the time of the forming of Romano Prodi's EU team. The final decision will then have to be made by the European Commission President himself.
B. T.; translated by K. J.