Nick Clegg backs Olli Rehn as ALDE European Commission Presidential candidate

Nick Clegg yesterday backed Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs to become the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission in next year’s European Elections.

One of fourteen ALDE leaders to have co-signed a letter nominating Olli Rehn as their candidate, he said;

I am delighted to nominate Olli Rehn to be the ALDE Presidential candidate. He is the perfect man for the job, and will be a powerful advocate for the liberal cause. I know Olli will help us build a stronger economy and a fairer society in the UK and across Europe. It is clear he has very widespread support from European liberal parties – from Sweden to Bulgaria and Cyprus to Estonia – to be our Presidential candidate in the 2014 elections.

It appears that he isn’t the only senior Liberal Democrat to think so. Our spokesperson for International Affairs, Martin Horwood, who attended the recent ALDE Congress in London said:

Olli Rehn has played a critical role in helping to bring stability to the European economy and that is critically important to Britain as well. He understands the vital but delicate relationship between the UK and the rest of the European Union and will be a friend and ally not just of Liberals and Democrats across Europe but also of the UK.

I think Olli will focus on the most important task still facing all of Europe – the need to protect and create jobs by stabilising the European economy and building a sustainable future. Nothing else matters more.

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, who leads on International Affairs in the Lords added:

Olli Rehn is a very well respected Commissioner across the EU, with a track record of getting things done. He would be a fantastic President of the European Commission and will be a strong voice for liberal principles across the continent.

And if those endorsements weren’t enough, on behalf of the volunteer party, the Chairman of the International Relations Committee, Robert Woodthorpe Browne, noted:

We Liberal Democrats have a long history of working with Olli Rehn, supporting his efforts to restore discipline to European finances, a shared goal. The International Relations Committee overwhelmingly supports this nomination.

So, as the various ALDE member parties publicly declare for either of the two candidates, Olli Rehn and Guy Verhofstadt, it looks increasingly as though the contest will go right up to the wire when the extraordinary Electoral Congress takes place in Brussels on 1 February.

Next, leaders of ALDE member parties will meet to discuss the nominations of candidates in Brussels tomorrow, with Simon Hughes attending on behalf of Nick Clegg. Nominations formally close the next day.

* Mark Valladares is a member of the ALDE Party Council.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.


  • ” Nick Clegg yesterday backed Olli Rehn, ”

    Oh dear! Olli Rehn was doing so well until now !

  • The nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman (one of the world’s truly great bloggers) has been a long-standing critic of Rehn and his endless claims about how the Euro is working well and the south just needs to get its act in order. I had no idea he was a Liberal. I get the feeling that Liberals across Europe come in a wide variety of forms. For some reason they all choose to stand together.

  • FrankBooth 18th Dec ’13 – 3:24pm
    I am guessing that would be the same economist Paul Krugman who wrote ‘The Three Stooges Do Westminster’ in the New York Times –

    ” The Three Stooges Do Westminster
    A couple of weeks ago I tried to get at what’s wrong with the latest tactic of the austerians in terms of a classic Three Stooges scene.
    Curly is seen banging his head against the wall; when Moe asks why, he replies, “Because it feels so good when I stop.”

    As Simon Wren-Lewis tries to explain, this is exactly the basis of the Cameron government’s triumphalism now that UK GDP is growing again.

    The basic fact of UK economic performance since the financial crisis is that it has been terrible — in fact, as the NIESR documents, GDP performance has been substantially worse than during the Great Depression:”

    So not the greatest supporter of Nick Clegg’s claims about the economy turning the corner.

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