Today the Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, declared his candidacy for the position of the lead candidate for the social democratic party family in the upcoming European elections. Šefčovič has been appointed EU Commissioner on the proposal of the Slovak government. Like Prime Minister Fico Šefčovič is a member of the Slovak Social Democrats Party SMER and cultivates a xenophobic, populist political style. Since the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, close links between the SMER-led government and organised crime have been unveiled. Neither the judiciary nor mass protests have been able to fundamentally change the situation in Slovakia. The murderers of Kuciak and his partner have not been identified either.
MEP Sven Giegold, spokesperson of the German Greens in the European Parliament commented on Maroš Šefčovič’s announcement of candidacy:
“The race for the top position of the EU Commission is picking up speed. It is welcome that after Manfred Weber of the Christian Democrats, with Šefčovič, a Social Democrat has now declared his candidacy. This means a strengthening of European democracy.
But now, Maroš Šefčovič must unmistakably position himself towards the situation in his party SMER. Anyone who wants to lead the EU Commission must not duck away if Europe’s fundamental values are violated in his own country. While the citizens demand an end to corruption in mass protests, the government has not changed anything substantial. Šefčovič must clearly state in public whose side he supports. The general statements on democratic values, a progressive Europe or a spirit of animosity are not enough in this regard. Europe’s citizens can expect from an EU Commission President to have the courage to distance himself clearly from Robert Fico’s populist political style“.