Bulgarian EU Commissioner turns down EP seat


EU consumer protection commissioner Meglena Kuneva of Bulgaria said Friday she had decided not to take up a seat in the European parliament, despite being elected there last month.

Kuneva, who has been an EU commissioner since Bulgaria joined the 27-nation bloc in January 2007, said she preferred to serve out her term as commissioner — which ends in October — instead.

“I have taken my decision… I will complete my term as commissioner,” she told a news conference here.

In the European parliamentary elections on June 7, Kuneva was elected as deputy for the liberal NMSP party of former king Simeon Saxe Coburg, which is part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

But she would have had to give up her job at the commission if she wanted to take up her parliamentary seat when the new parliament is sworn in next week.
Kuneva said she had reached her decision following talks with both Jose Manuel Barroso, who is to serve a second five-year term as European Commission president, and Bulgaria’s prime minister-designate Boyko Borisov.

Asked whether she would seek backing from the new government in Sofia for a second term in the EU commission, Kuneva said: “This is not a matter of my immediate efforts.”

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