Coalition partners doubt whether Landsbergis could be a candidate for the EU Commissioner's portfolio: they would see Šimonytė in Brussels

Representatives of the ruling coalition are sceptical about Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis's chances of running for the European Commissioner's portfolio. According to Eugenijus Gentvilas, the elder of the Liberal Movement group in the Seimas, the Conservative leader has never initiated any mobilising initiatives, so he should not expect support from the Seimas.

TS-LKD Prezidiumo posėdis.<br>Dainiaus Labučio (ELTA) nuotr.
TS-LKD Prezidiumo posėdis.<br>Dainiaus Labučio (ELTA) nuotr.
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May 30, 2024, 2:04 PM, atnaujinta May 30, 2024, 2:07 PM

For his part, Vytautas Mitalas, an elder of the Freedom Group, believes that the Lithuanian Foreign Minister would not have much chance even if he were to get the approval of Lithuania. According to the politician, a „polarising“ image of Mr Landsbergis has taken hold in the corridors of the European Union (EU) institutions. Therefore, despite his prominence, the leader of the Conservatives should not be expected to hold a significant portfolio, notes Libertarian.

„In the European Union, appointments must strike a broad balance between different political groups. It seems to me that in the corridors of Brussels, given the polarising image of our current minister... Well, we could talk about other candidates too. They would have a better chance of getting a better portfolio“, Mitalas told Elta.

He said that Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė would be a much better option.

„Such a move would be very rational. It would be a continuation of her career, and then such a person could get the support of the President and the majority of the Seimas. I think it would also allow competition for a better portfolio,“ said the Libertarian.

Gentvilas also agrees with this position. However, he points out that it is difficult to imagine that Landsbergis could pass the filters at the national level.

„I don't see any possibility for Gabrielius Landsbergis to pass the presidential filter, and I don't see any possibility of passing the Seimas filters either,“ the politician said.

„This means that the Government can nominate Gabrielius Landsbergis, but he is unlikely to pass the presidential filter. If, however, it would pass the presidential filter – tell me, why should this young and talented person pass the Seimas?“ – Gentvilas asked rhetorically.

According to the liberal, there is little reason to believe that the same ruling majority would agree to support the leader of the most influential party in the Seimas.

„Has he initiated a meeting to discuss the issues of the ruling majority? Yes, he has suggested it once – dissolving the Seimas. Some groups have given him the middle finger, and others have given him a three-finger combination. I am being rude, but nobody saw him as a rallying point, and now I do not see the possibility of the ruling majority rallying around him,“ the politician stated.

According to him, there is only one case in which a Commissioner's portfolio could be discussed for Landsbergis – if there was an assurance that the current Foreign Minister could be considered for a critical position. However, the MEP admits that this is more of a theoretical possibility.

„I like Gabrielius' positions in foreign policy, but I only like him in a significant position. I look at it from the side of Lithuania's interest. I don't know why this man, who has never been a rallying figure, should receive support. If one thinks about positions, one should always work for them,“ the Liberal concluded.

ELTA recalls that the influential publication Politico has published a list of potential candidates for the new EC, among which Landsbergis is mentioned. It is said that he would be targeting the Commissioner's portfolio related to foreign policy.

There has already been speculation in the public sphere that Landsbergis will likely be named the most realistic candidate to replace the outgoing Commissioner for Environment and Oceans, Virginijus Sinkevičius.

However, Landsbergis himself still needs to give a concrete answer, commenting on November's rumours that this was not a significant issue for him.

The nomination of the Commissioner is proposed by the Government, in agreement with the President and the Seimas.

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