Muscat might nominate both Edward Scicluna and Helena Dalli for European Commission - reports

Prime Minister could propose both Scicluna and Dalli if a request by prospective European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for member states to nominate a male and female candidate goes through

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and Equality Minister Helena Dalli are reportedly both keen on being nominated as European Commissioner
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and Equality Minister Helena Dalli are reportedly both keen on being nominated as European Commissioner

Joseph Muscat might nominate both Edward Scicluna and Helena Dalli as Malta’s next European Commissioner, a post both are keen to take up, according to reports.

The Prime Minister, who is torn between which of the two to choose, could have the chance to nominate both the Finance Minister and Equality Minister for the post, The Malta Independent reported on Sunday.

However, the possibility of such a scenario would depend on whether a request by prospective European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for member states to nominate one male and one female candidate for the Commission presidency goes through if she is approved for the European Union's top post.

Malta's current European Commissioner is Karmenu Vella, whose portfolio involves the environment, maritime affairs and fisheries.

Von der Leyen told the European Parliament this week that she wanted a commission composed of half male and half female commissioners.

Earlier in July, von der Leyen, currently Germany’s defence minister, was proposed by the European Council as a candidate for the European Commission presidency.

She will learn on Tuesday whether the European Parliament is ready to approve her bid to become the first woman to head the European Commission, and is not yet clear whether she enjoys the majority of the support of MEPs.

While she has the backing of the European People’s Party, the Greens have come out against her, and there appears to have been no decision made about her within the European Socialists party.

The Malta Independent said that Scicluna has no interest in contesting another general election, but has his sights set on becoming a Commissioner.

Moreover, the newspaper said that Dalli had “demanded” that Muscat nominate her for the post, expecting the Prime Minister to support her this time, since he had previously supported Scicluna instead of her in the race of the Labour Party’s deputy leader.

If von der Leyen wins the necessary backing to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, the issue of deciding between the two might be solved for Muscat.

However, von der Leyen has struggled to win the European Parliament’s support, with pan-European political groups within it feeling frustrated on the way her candidacy was imposed upon them by member states’ leaders who agreed to nominate her during an emergency summit earlier this month.

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