» Monday, June 21, 2004

European Commission President

Asked if Downing Street was anticipating a further European Summit to discuss nominations for the job of European Commission President, the PMOS said that we would not rule out the possibility, although it was ultimately up to the Irish Presidency to decide how they wanted to play it. Obviously it was important that whoever emerged as the Commission President did so as the result of a genuine consultation with the Heads of Government of all twenty-five EU member states. The Taoiseach was currently engaged in that process and it would therefore be premature to speculate about the outcome until he had completed his initial round of consultations.

Asked if the Taoiseach might put himself forward for the job of Commission President, and if so whether the Prime Minister would support his candidature, the PMOS said that there would no doubt be lots of conjecture about nominations and the like. However, in our view it would not be helpful to engage in a speculative discussion about the process. It was more important that what emerged was the result of a genuine process of consultation carried out in private.

Asked if he would accept that the shortlist for nominees were the three names which had been mentioned at the weekend, the PMOS said he did not think it would be helpful to speculate on any names because other candidates might emerge as the Taoiseach conducted his negotiations.

Asked the deadline for Britain naming its European Commissioner, the PMOS said he thought the deadline was the end of July.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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