7 July 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel might be appointed as his country’s next European Commissioner, it was reported on Wednesday.
Two newspapers, La Libre Belgique and La Derniere Heure, ran stories suggesting that Michel might be named as Belgium’s member of the next European Commission, which is set to take office later this year.
Michel, who is a senior member of the centre right Mouvement Reformateur party, is a popular figure both in Belgium and among his European Union counterparts and many analysts have suggested he would make a good Commissioner.
The Foreign Minister himself refused to confirm or deny on the rumours of an imminent job change saying only that the question of him taking up a position at the Commission was at present, “a simple hypothesis.”
He did add however that he would consider the post seriously if it were offered.
“The post of European Commissioner is obviously a very important function that one can’t dismiss out of hand,” he said.
Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt last month failed in a high profile bid to become the next President of the European Commission after UK Prime Minister Tony Blair made it clear that he would veto his candidature.
The top post was eventually awarded to Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news