Vice President of the European Investment Bank Alexander Stubb has signed up for the race over the European People’s Party Spitzenkandidat and European Commission Presidency in the next European Elections. He said that he signed up for the race because of concern and love for Europe and concern and love for the world and world politics.
He thinks that liberalism is facing an attack, and Europe needs to defend its values, international law and system as well as facts. What comes to the technological revolution, he thinks that Europe needs to take measures through rules and legislation.
If Mr Stubb succeeds, he will be in the highest position in international politics than any other Finn ever. Mr Stubb compared the race with the triathlon, and said that he takes it one step at a time. According to Mr Stubb, he joined the race for three reasons. He wants to defend European values, he thinks this is the moment of Europe and thirdly, he wants to bring Nordic practicality to EU decision making as Commission President. Mr Stubb said he has support from all over Europe.
The race over the Spitzenkandidat position of the European Parliament’s biggest group EPP will be a battle between a German conservative and Finnish value liberal, that is at least how Mr Stubb described it.
Manfred Weber is more conservative than Mr Stubb and that might be why Mr Stubb decided to emphasise liberal democractic values in his campaign. Most Germans are likely to vote for Mr Weber, but the question is what the other countries do in the EPP vote. Mr Stubb has an asset against the German candidate, as some think that Germany already has enough power.
Kauppalehti wrote in a comment that the road to head the Commission is not an easy one for any Spitzenkandidat, because even though the EPP remained the biggest group in the European Parliament, there will be changes in the Parliament and it is not clear if other groups want to elect a new EPP President for the Commission. Even if Mr Stubb was not elected in the position, he might earn another position with a good campaign. Foremost, he would be very qualified for the position of High Representative of the European Union.
Media: Aamulehti (E-edition, PDF) , Helsingin Sanomat, Helsingin Sanomat (E-edition, PDF) , Kauppalehti , Keskisuomalainen (E-edition, PDF)
Main source: Alexander Stubb