Ursula von der Leyen sends reminder to Boris Johnson to nominate EU commissioner

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By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
Ursula von der Leyen sends reminder to Boris Johnson to nominate EU commissioner
Copyright  REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

Future President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has reminded UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of his duty to put forth a candidate to be the country's EU commissioner.

The chief spokesperson of the EU Commission Mina Andreeva told Euronews that it was the UK's legal obligation to nominate someone for the commissioner role as negotiated in the Brexit extension last month.

European Council President Donald Tusk confirmed last month that EU27 countries had accepted the UK’s request for a “flextension” until January 31, 2020.

An obligation to nominate a commission member appears in the text of the Council's decision. It states that the UK remains a full EU member until the new exit date, "with full rights and obligations... including the obligation to suggest a candidate for appointment as a member of the Commission".

The document confirms comments last week by the Commission’s President-elect. Ursula von der Leyen said that if the UK’s EU membership was extended beyond the October 31, then she would request a British candidate.

“If after 1st November… the UK is still in the European Union, then, of course, I would ask the UK to send a commissioner,” the incoming leader told a news conference in Helsinki on Thursday.

Read More: Brexit delay: Will the UK be obliged to name a new EU Commissioner?

On Wednesday, the President of Romania is expected to propose MEP Siegfried Muresan to become the country's European Commissioner.

Andreeva said that everyone but the UK had put forth a commissioner candidate.