Bulgarian candidate withdraws bid for Commission

One week after her hearing before MEPs, the candidate for the position of Commissioner of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Rumiana Jeleva, has resigned from her appointment. European Parliament's vote on next commission unlikely before February.

Bulgarian nominee Rumiana Jeleva has withdrawn from the list of candidates for the European commission. Bulgaria promptly picked Kristalina Georgieva to replace Jeleva as its nominee for commissioner of humanitarian affairs. Georgieva is currently employed as vice-president of the World Bank. Barroso had announced the list of commissioners-designate in November.

Jeleva's decision will delay final confirmation of the new 27-member commission. Parliament will need time to schedule a hearing for Georgieva if President Barroso accepts her nomination. He will meet with her as soon as possible.

Jeleva’s withdrawal was announced on 19 January, which was to have been the last day of confirmation hearings for the candidates. She had appeared before Parliament’s development committee a week earlier.

The nominees must be approved by parliament. Under EU rules, MEPs vote on the entire line-up, not individuals. The vote had been scheduled for 26 January. Now it is tentatively set for 9 February, after the hearing for Georgieva, expected on 3 February.