European finance commissioner Olli Rehn says he wants to replace Jose Manuel Barroso at the helm of the EU executive, the Finnish politician told euronews on Saturday.
Rehn made the announcement over the weekend at a gathering of centrist and liberal politicians in London.
“I am very motivated to continue to work to reform and modernise Europe, therefore, I am ready to stand as candidate,” Rehn said in an interview.
Centrist and left-wing parties in the European Parliament have called on EU leaders to appoint the next European Commission president from the best-performing political group in May’s elections.
Guy Verhofstadt, the current leader of the Liberal party in the European Parliament, will officially announce his interest later this week.
“The solution is that we are less involved in bureaucratic regulations and that we are more concentrated on the big challenges of tomorrow, like climate change, import of cheap Chinese products, toxic products coming from the other side of the ocean, migration coming from north Africa,” the former Belgian prime minister said.
But May’s European election results will not decide who gets the job.
Under EU leaders are only obliged to them “take into account”.
Euronews’ Isabel Marques da Silva reports that the European Liberals will decide on their preferred candidate by February 1st.