European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič officially withdrew his candidacy and thrown his support behind the Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans to be the Party of the European Socialists’ (PES) candidate in the race to take over for Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker when his term ends in May 2019.
“I stand ready to support Frans (Timmermans) and work closely with him,” added the Slovak-born Šefčovič. “As both a politician and devoted sportsman, I understand the power of team spirit and shared goals. I, therefore, relate to the need to continue in the spirit of unity and a united front so we can concentrate our energy on preparing a powerful political agenda that will bring optimism to the people of Europe,” said Šefčovič.
PES President Sergei Stanishev welcomed Šefčovič’s decision to endorse Timmermans as the PES’ lead candidate, saying the Slovakian politician is “a true team player and that his decision reflects the spirit of all in the PES’ family around Europe.”
“Maroš will play an important role in the upcoming 2019 election campaign beyond Slovakia…He is a positive example of the work that the PES is doing…to deliver progressive change for Europe, particularly in the area of sustainable economic modernisation and convergence,” added Stanishev.
PES is expected to place second in the 2019 European elections and retain its position as one of the EU’s dominant political politics.