The Slovenian government on 18 July nominated Janez Lenarčič, its ambassador to the EU, to be the country's next European commissioner.
“Lenarčič is an experienced candidate with top references in international and European affairs and meets all required criteria,” the government tweeted.
A professional diplomat with nearly three decades of experience, Lenarčič is politically unaffiliated. He previously served as a director at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
The announcement means Violeta Bulc, the current transport commissioner who stood as a lead candidate for her liberal ALDE group in May’s European election, will not return to the Berlaymont.
Bulc steered through a major package of railway legislation during the first half of her mandate, but has failed to push through contentious reforms to the way truckers are regulated across the bloc. She also lost a battle with the Council over connected car legislation.
During her time as Slovenia’s representative, Bulc sought to funnel more EU cash to transport infrastructure projects in Central and Eastern Europe, and pushed for road safety improvements across the bloc — although she has so far failed to meet EU targets to reduce fatalities.