Lars Løkke Rasmussen in contention to become EU president – The Post

Lars Løkke Rasmussen in contention to become EU president

On Thursday the outgoing PM backed Margrethe Vestager’s bid, but a day later he said “they can just call”

Could Lars go from ‘V’ for Venstre to ‘V’ for victory? (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
June 24th, 2019 11:06 am| by Ben Hamilton

Denmark’s acting but outgoing prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, has emerged as a candidate to take the European Union’s top job.

Jean-Claude Juncker is stepping down as president of the EU, but no candidate has so far commanded enough support to be elected.

Last week on Thursday, a meeting of the EU’s 28 heads of government agreed that discussions need to continue.

Backing Vestager or not?
Among those wishing to become president are Danish politician Margrethe Vestager, the European competition commissioner, whose chances have grown following the improved performance of the  Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in the late-May European elections.

When Rasmussen was asked about the possibility of becoming president, he was adamant he was supportive of Vestager’s bid.

However, a day later he told DR: “If they suddenly think they need a pragmatic, middle-aged, cold-blooded, liberal Scandinavian, then they can just call.”

Strong competition
The parties of long-time favourites, Germany’s Manfred Weber and Frans Timmermans from the Netherlands, saw their figures slip somewhat, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also rumoured to be a possibility should she decide to step down.

More is expected to be known following a high-level meeting on June 30. The positions of European Council president, EU foreign secretary, European Parliament president and European Central Bank president also need to be filled.