A Europe-wide alliance of Socialist parties on Wednesday named Germany’s Martin Schulz as its preferred candidate to run the EU Commission.
The Party of European Socialists had been expected to publish a shortlist of names, but the president of the European Parliament is the only candidate for the job.
The 57-year-old former bookseller told reporters in Brussels that he wanted the job so he could help shape a ‘fairer’ Europe.
“Citizens lost trust, I want to fight to regain trust. Trust in one thing: that the richest part of the world is able to distribute wealth in a more fair, just way,” he said.
The German MEP will be officially be endorsed as the Socialist candidate to succeed Jose Manuel Barroso at the PES party conference on March 1.
And he said he will not be toeing the line from Chancellor Angela Merkel when it comes to EU policy.
“I run for the confidence of the citizens in Europe and not for the grand coalition in Berlin; this is the difference,” Schulz told euronews.
MEPs believe giving voters a greater say in who runs the Commission will boost turnout.
But the results of the European elections in May will not decide who gets the job.
Under EU treaties, leaders are only obliged to “take into account” the make-up of the next parliament before putting forward their final candidate.