Jyrki Katainen, the European Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, has put an end to long-running speculation about his future by announcing he will not be available as the European People’s Party’s (EPP) candidate for the presidency of the European Commission.
“I’ve thought about it for a long time and decided I won’t be entering this race,” he stated to journalists in Brussels on Wednesday, according to Kauppalehti.
Katainen also said he has yet to decide what to do but is open to all options after stepping down as the vice president of the European Commission in mid-2019.
Although his name has popped up regularly in speculation about potential successors to Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, Katainen reminded that it is difficult to determine exactly how much support there would be for his candidacy and added that it has in no way influenced his decision.
“If I had decided to go the other way, it wouldn’t have mattered. I would’ve joined the race in order to have an impact on the contents,” he explained.
Another Finn who has been touted as a potential successor to Juncker is former Prime Minister and current vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Alexander Stubb. Katainen believes Stubb would be well-suited for the presidency but reminded that the decision on whether to nominate a candidate for the race is in the hands of Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition.
“Alex is someone who easily ticks all the boxes in terms of qualities required for the post,” he stated. “I don’t think there’s anyone who’d deny that.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Anniina Luotonen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi