Alexander Stubb (NCP), a vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), has launched his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the President of the European Commission.
Stubb on Tuesday confirmed that he has kicked off his campaign to become the so-called lead candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest group by representation in the European Parliament, in the European elections scheduled for May, 2019.
“I’ll be the Finn taking part in this race, at the end of which may be the presidency of the [European] Commission. We should still not get ahead of ourselves and take it day by day,” he commented yesterday to Aamulehti and Alma Media.
The ex-Finnish prime minister, minister of finance and minister for foreign affairs is widely considered a viable candidate to take the reins of the European Commission.
The position will require the courage and determination to defend the democratic values of Europe, according to Stubb. He viewed that the values are currently under attack from outside and within the EU, as well as partly from within the EPP.
“Without values, we’ll be left with nothing,” he said.
“I’ll take to the barricades to defend human rights, basic rights, freedom, liberal democracy, equality and the principles of the rule of law. I’ll set out to defend the foundation of the entire European Union,” declared Stubb.
Europe, he added, has an opportunity to fill the power vacuum left in the global political arena by the United States.
“As the United States is voluntarily marginalising itself in world politics, there’ll be a power vacuum. Someone has to fill that power vacuum. I believe Europe is the best-equipped to succeed in that because it’s a multilateral community that has been founded on values,” he said. “This is Europe’s moment.”
Stubb will run against Manfred Weber of Germany, the leader of the EPP in the European Parliament. The EPP will convene to select its lead candidate for the upcoming elections in Helsinki on 8 November.
Jyrki Katainen (NCP), the European Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, described Stubb as a professional and enthusiastic candidate, with a modern and fresh agenda for Europe.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi