4 June 2004
BRUSSELS – The man in charge of drafting Europe’s controversial planned constitution says he thinks Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt would make a good European Commission President, it was reported on Friday.
Former French President Valery Giscard D’Estaing said in Paris on Thursday that he believed Verhofstadt had the right credentials for the influential EU job.
Verhofstadt had “the capacities to be a good President of the Commission,” Giscard said.
The former French president pointed out that Belgium had been in charge of running EU business when the decision was taken to set up the ‘convention’ he headed, which was tasked with drafting the new constitution.
The convention was a major two-year conference and debating forum that heard from hundreds of politicians, voluntary groups and citizens rights organisations.
Giscard’s backing for Verhofstadt’s bid for the Commission Presidency follows open endorsements from French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has also dropped heavy hints that he would not block a decision to give Verhofstadt the job.
EU leaders are set to decide who will be the next Commission President when they meet in Brussels on 18 June.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news