Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 11:34:08 AM EST
Balkenende, a Christian Democrat, investing in a future coalition partner the liberal VVD party?
Netherlands Nominates Kroes for EU Commission
(NRC) - The Dutch government has named outgoing competition commissioner Neelie Kroes for the new EU Commission. Kroes will probably get another economic portfolio. [EU development new media Internet and telecommunication. - Oui]
The government information service RVD announced the Dutch government is nominating Neelie Kroes for the new EU Commission. Kroes was among the favorites, but other names had been making the rounds too, like that of former deputy economy minster Yvonne van Rooy, a Christian Democrat.
Kroes is held in high regard in Brussels for her work as competition commissioner in the outgoing Commission. She would have liked to continue in that capacity, but it is known that Commission president José Manuel Barroso is not in favour of commissioners succeeding themselves.
Last week Kroes said she would also consider another high-profile economic portfolio. Exactly which portfolio she will get is not known yet, but it will probably be an economic one. Kroes is also set to become vice-president of the Commission.
Kroes (68) belongs to the right-wing liberal party VVD, which is currently in the opposition. Two weeks ago she complained that "party politics" were standing in the way of her being nominated for a second term as commissioner.
The Netherlands was among the last countries to put forward a name for the EU Commission. Earlier on Tuesday the Dutch government said it would not do so until Barroso guaranteed the Dutch commissioner would get an important economic portfolio. The Netherlands feels entitled to a high-profile portfolio after prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende was passed over for EU president.
[Update 2009-11-24 14:09 PM PST by Oui]
Modernising ICT and Telecommunication
EU's Barroso hopes for new Commission by end-January
Some Commission portfolios, particularly competition, internal markets, monetary affairs and trade, have broad powers and are highly sought after by member states.
France is angling to take on the internal markets portfolio in the next Commission, which could give it a say in regulating financial services. Germany is interested in the industry, trade or competition portfolios, diplomats says.
MORE WOMEN COMMISSIONERS
Outgoing Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, from the Netherlands, developed a reputation as a tough enforcer of rules on state aid and as a champion of consumer rights.
Kroes has been put forward again by the Netherlands to serve in the next Commission, although it is unlikely that she will get the competition portfolio again.
"I've heard that Barroso has decided no one will continue in their current position and that people will rotate," Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos (Labor Party PvdA) told Dutch TV.
New portfolio Modernising ICT and Telecommunication (pdf)
● EU Commissioner responsible for Information Society and Media
"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."