POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Schmit and Schneider battle to be Commissioner?



Étienne Schneider has apparently expressed interest in becoming Luxembourg’s next EU Commissioner when Jean-Claude Juncker steps down in November 2019. Maison Moderne

Étienne Schneider has apparently expressed interest in becoming Luxembourg’s next EU Commissioner when Jean-Claude Juncker steps down in November 2019. Maison Moderne

A report by RTL suggests the two outgoing LSAP cabinet ministers are both interested in going t serve in Brussels.

When Jean-Claude Juncker hands over the reins to his successor as European Commission president in November next year, Luxembourg will have to fill a vacant European Commissioner post. So far there has been little speculation about potential candidates for the post.

But according to RTL, outgoing employment minister Nicolas Schmit of the LSAP has expressed an interest in going to serve in Brussels. He told the broadcaster on Friday afternoon that he has no interest in serving in the next government.

But RTL also cites sources that claim outgoing economy minister Étienne Schneider is also after the vacant Commissioner post. That is a move that would send shockwaves through Luxembourg politics, just as the sudden resignation of Schneider’s predecessor, Jeannot Krecké, did in January 2012.

RTL reports that Schmit was unaware of Schneider’s interest, but that he would demand the party vote on the issue in a run-off if there were rival claims for the Commission job.

There have been calls within the LSAP, particularly from its youth wing, for a major shakeup of the party following its calamitous showing at the parliamentary elections in October. But even so, Schneider leaving for Brussels would be a totally unexpected fallout from the election.