The opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats have on Tuesday suggested that Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis should nominate the country's former President Dalia Grybauskaite for European commissioner. But the former president says she's not seeking the position.
Dalia Grybauskaitė ir Vytautas Landsbergis
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"(…) our community would see former President Dalia Grybauskaite as a candidate," HU-LCD leader Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote in a letter to the prime minister.

In his opinion, when selecting the best candidate for European commissioner, "it is important to take into account the partisan criteria" and to appoint "the most experienced person with great knowledge of the EU's internal and foreign policy affairs and having high international reputation."

Grybauskaite served as Lithuania's president for two terms from 2009 until early July this year. Before that, she was the European commissioner in charge of financial programming and budget in 2004-2009.

Grybauskaite's office told BNS Lithuania "the president is not seeking to be a candidate for European commissioner."

If Grybauskaite refused, former Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, diplomat Vygaudas Usackas, MEP Rasa Jukneviciene, MP Zygimantas Pavilionis or politician Laima Liucija Andrikiene could also be nominated, the HU-LCD says.

"We would also be prepared to consider supporting politicians from other political parties, having significant European experience, like former minister and incumbent MEP Vilija Blinkeviciute, former minister and member of the European Court of Auditors Rasa Budbergyte or MEP Petras Austrevicius," Landsbergis said.

Last week, the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union decided to propose Sinkevicius as the country's candidate to be a member of the next European Commission, but the opposition says he's not experienced enough and would not get an important portfolio.

A candidate for European commissioner is nominated by the government upon coordination with the president and Seimas. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has not named his favorite for the position yet.

The new European Commission will be led by former German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Lithuania is now represented by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis at the European Commission, being in charge of health and food safety.

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