One of the leading contenders for the presidency of the European commission is to deliver a lecture to staff and students at The University of Manchester this week (21 March).
MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who was also Prime Minister of Belgium until 2008, will discuss the challenges facing Europe at this year’s Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence Annual Lecture.
Nominated by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, Verhofstadt hopes to land the top job currently held by José Manuel Barroso until 31 October this year.
Under the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament elects the European Commission President, based on the wishes of member states’ governments.
For the first time, the main political blocs in the European Parliament will field candidates for the powerful post.
Other candidates currently declared include Jean-Claude Junker from the Centre-Right European People’s Party, Martin Schulz from the Party of European Socialists and Alexis Tsipras, from the Party of the European Left.
The European Green Party elected Frenchman José Bové and German Ska Keller.
Verhofstadt was Prime Minister of Belgium from 1999 to 2008 and from 2009 he has been a Member of the European Parliament where he is the leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
A committed federalist his campaign is expected to call for deeper political integration within the European Union.
The Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (JMCE) is an interdisciplinary forum for the promotion research and teaching on Europe across the University of Manchester, the University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University.
It is directed by The University of Manchester’s Professor of Politics Dimitris Papadimitriou, who will be chairing the event.
Notes for editors
Guy Verhofstadt’s lecture “Challenges for Europe” takes place on Friday 21 March, between 14:00 and 16:00 at the University of Manchester .
He will be available for interview on the day
For media enquiries contact: Mike Addelman Press Officer Faculty of Humanities The University of Manchester 0161 275 0790 07717 881567 Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org