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There's something about Enda: Taoiseach 'being seriously talked about' for EU job

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has confirmed that his party leader is being talked about in Brussels as a possible European Commission or European Council president.

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY is “being seriously talked about” in relation to taking over as either head of the European Commission or the European Council, according to Transport Minister Leo Varadkar,

Speculation here and in Europe centres on Kenny and Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen as well as a number of others being in the running for the race to be the next president of the Commission – a role held by Jose Manuel Barroso since 2004 – when the position becomes vacant next June.

Kenny is also speculated to be in the mix for the role of president of the European Council – currently Herman van Rompuy – when that position becomes available in December 2014.

Varadkar told RTÉ’s Marian Finucane programme that although he has not heard if Kenny is interested in the roles – and he would be surprised if the Taoiseach did decide to make the switch to Europe – he is not surprised his name is being mentioned.

“I am not surprised that he’s being seriously talked about because he is,” he said.

“He is very much in the top three or four that people talk about and that’s I suppose down to his performance as president when we had the [EU] presidency and also what’s at least perceived in Europe, if not in Ireland, of a success story here in Ireland.”

The Minister added: “So he is definitely one of the ones who’s being approached. Whether he’d like to do it, I don’t know. I think he wants to finish the job here quite frankly, but that for him to answer.”

Speaking to RTÉ last September, Enda Kenny said he was “flattered” to be linked to the job of European Commission president but added that intends to fulfil his mandate as Taoiseach.

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Hugh O'Connell

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