EU veteran Juncker joins race to become Commission president
BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - Veteran Luxembourg politician Jean-Claude Juncker has entered the race for the post of European Commission president, officially submitting his bid on Thursday to become the centre-right political group's candidate.
The move, which had been expected, puts one of the European Union's most experienced deal brokers in the frame for arguably its most influential job although Mr Juncker, who once told a conference he sometimes lied and favoured "secret, dark debates", has alienated some by his frankness.
The European People's Party (EPP) announced the former Luxembourg prime minister's candidacy that will see him compete with Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, previously Latvian prime minister, for a post with power over policy affecting 500 million Europeans.
Mr Michel Barnier, the European commissioner who oversaw banking reform, is also expected to seek backing from the centre-right EPP, when members meet to chose their lead candidate ahead of the European Parliament elections in May.