Austrian EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn has announced his retirement after over a decade in Brussels, with the potential successor being Austrian EU Minister Karoline Edtstadler.
Hahn, the longest-serving member of the EU Commission, has reportedly announced his retirement. He was sent to Brussels after the 2009 European elections and was nominated again five years later.
His third term in office is owed to the Ibiza gate affair, which led to the collapse of the conservative-right wing government in 2019. Before the 2019 European elections, Edtstadler was considered the new EU Commissioner, but Hahn was nominated after Sebastian Kurz’s cabinet fell.
“At the end of October next year, so at the end of this mandate, I will retire. Until then, I will, of course continue to work with full vigour – there is still a lot to do in my department. But three successful terms in office are enough,” Hahn told the Salzburger Nachrichten, APA reported.
Currently holding the portfolio for budget and civil servants, the former leader of the conservative Vienna ÖVP and science minister had previously been responsible for EU enlargement in his first term and EU regional policy in his second. In addition, Hahn is one of ten vice presidents of the largest European party family, the EPP.
Edtstadler: strong contender for Brussels post
If the Austrian conservative-Green government remains in power until the summer of 2024, it is likely that a candidate from the chancellor’s party will be sent to Brussels as ÖVP politicians have always been represented in the Brussels office since Austria joined the EU in 1995.
Currently, Edtstadler appears to have good chances. When asked about it, she answered with a translation of the Latin phrase “Nihil petere, nihil recusare” (“Strive for nothing, reject nothing”). She also mentioned her work at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and added that she has an international perspective.
However, she emphasised that this question does not arise at the moment, and she is currently committed to her current job.
(Chiara Swaton | EURACTIV.de)
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