Frans Timmermans wants to head European Commission: report

Frans_Timmermans (Habib M’henni, Wikimedia Commons)

European Commissioner Frans Timmermans wants to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission. He will officially announce his candidacy later this week, NOS reports.

Timmermans' name has long be mentioned as a possible successor for Juncker after next year's European elections. Timmermans already has the support of the German Social Democrats. If he can get enough support - which he already has, according to NOS's sources - Timmermans will be named the Spitzen candidate of te European Social Democrats, the person they put forward after the European elections as their candidate for European Commission president.

If Timmermans becomes Spitzen candidate, he will also have to be the PvdA party leader in the European elections. As Spitzen candidate of the Social Democrats, he will campaign throughout Europe, but can only be on the list in the Netherlands. In the European elections, you can only vote for candidates from your own country. 

The fact that Timmermans will have to become PvdA party leader may be complicated. Paul Tang already registered for party leader. The PvdA management extended the registration deadline until mid-October, especially for Timmermans. But it is not clear whether Tang will be willing to give way for Timmermans, according to the broadcaster. If he does not, an internal PvdA referendum will be held.

After the European Elections, the European Parliament will elect a successor for Juncker. The nomination must then be approved by the European heads of government.