Silina expects potential candidates for European Commissioner to have at least Dombrovskis-level competence and influence

  • 2024-05-27
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Prime Minister Evika Silina (New Unity) expects potential candidates for the post of European Commissioner to have knowledge and influence in the European Commission (EC) at least at the same level as the current Executive Vice President of the European Commission for Economy Valdis Dombrovskis (New Unity), Silina's press secretary Aleksis Zoldners told LETA.

Zoldners said that the issue of the next European Commissioner would be on the prime minister's agenda only after the European Parliament (EP) elections. Currently, Latvia continues to be represented by Dombrovskis, but any potential new candidate will have to prove himself.

"Any potential new candidate, regardless of party affiliation, would naturally have to explain to the public whether their ability to work effectively in the EC, their knowledge and their chances of gaining the most influential position in the EC are at least as high as Dombrovskis'," said Silina's office.

Asked whether the New Unity had any disagreements with the Progressives, whose representatives have also said that they are preparing to run for the post of the Commissioner, Zoldners said that "there have been no disagreements between the coalition parties on the issues of the Commissioner".

The right to nominate a candidate for EU Commissioner in Latvia is delegated to the head of government, currently held by New Unity politician Evika Silina. After the last two EP elections, the Latvian Commissioner nominated New Unity's Dombrovskis, after the party had secured the highest number of votes in the Latvian EP elections. The nomination of a candidate is also always discussed first within the ruling coalition at the time.

Dombrovskis has said he is ready to run for a third term as EU Commissioner "if the opportunity arises", but the Progressives have also expressed ambitions to run for the post. The latest party ratings published by the SKDS research center show that most voters are currently ready to cast their ballots in the EP elections for the opposition National Alliance, followed by the New Unity, Harmony and Progressives by a relatively wide margin.

A few weeks ago, representatives of the Progressives and the Union of Greens and Farmers told journalists that they expected the parties' success in the European elections to be taken into account when choosing the next Latvian candidate for EU Commissioner.

Roberts Zile, the leader of the National Alliance's list for the EP elections, told LETA that he saw no reason why Silina should not nominate Dombrovskis. If the opposite were to happen, he said, it would be "an absolute mistake". Zile believes that Dombrovskis has shown himself very well in his work for the EC, both on foreign trade issues and as vice-president, looking at economic issues. But opposition parties, such as the National Alliance, have little chance of winning the Commissioner's job.