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Hungary names FM for Commissioner post

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(BUDAPEST) - Hungary on Wednesday nominated Foreign Minister Tibor Navracsics as its candidate for a post of commissioner in the European Union's new executive.

"Now it is official: I am Hungary's candidate for the new European Commission," 48-year-old Navracsics said on his Twitter account.

"Difficult job. Great honour," he added.

In a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, president-designate of the next executive Commission, Prime Minister Viktor Orban - with David Cameron the only other EU leader to oppose Juncker's election in May - confirmed Navracsics as Hungary's nominee.

"The expertise and commitment (of Navracsics) makes him suitable for the post," read Orban's letter, published Wednesday by Hungarian news agency MTI.

Navracsics, justice minister between 2010 and 2014, is no stranger in Brussels, as he repeatedly clashed with the EU over controversial legislation introduced by Orban such as laws on media regulation and the justice system that critics have said curb press freedom and undermine the independence of the judiciary.

In 2013 he clashed with EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding who he accused of "making political statements beyond her remit" regarding Hungary.

Navracsics, who replaced Janos Martonyi as foreign minister in May after Orban's April reelection for a second consecutive term in government was long considered as a frontrunner for the post.

Hungary's previous commissioner Laszlo Andor held the employment, social affairs and inclusion portfolio for the last five years, although it is unclear yet which brief Hungary will receive.

Each of the EU's 28 nations can nominate one candidate to make up the 28-member Commission which will serve between 2014 and 2019.

Juncker's proposed Commission then needs to win approval from the European Parliament in October before taking office.


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