Barroso confirms former Finnish PM Katainen as Economics Commissioner

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Finland’s former Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen will become the new European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Commission President José Manuel Barroso confirmed on Wednesday.

Katainen’s appointment comes as Olli Rehn will resign next week to take a seat in the European Parliament. It in unclear, however, if Katainen’s position will only last until October, when the next Commission takes office.

“Following the resignation of Vice-President Rehn, Commissioner responsible for economic and monetary affairs and the Euro, and the nomination of Jyrki Katainen as his replacement by the Finish government, I decided to attribute to Jyrki Katainen the responsibilities so far performed by Olli Rehn.” Commission President José Manuel Barroso said.

Only a day before EU leaders meet in Brussels to decide who will be the next Commission President, Barroso called for a ‘stronger ownership’ of the European Union.

“I strongly welcome this discussion as all three institutions – Member States, the European Council, the European Parliament and the Commission should have a common understanding of the priorities ahead – namely on the imperative of growth and jobs. I believe that the text that is currently being discussed goes in the right direction – it confirms the approach the Commission has taken in the last years.” Barroso added.

Recent developments in Ukraine will also be discussed, as the EU has threatened Russia with further sanctions if there are no signs of de-escalation in eastern Ukraine.

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