With the decision on who should be the next European Commission president looming, a number of big names are jostling for the top position.
With the decision on who should be the next European Commission president looming, a number of big names are jostling for the top position. External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten has emerged as one of the top runners in the race, according to media reports. Speaking to BBC's Radio 4 on Saturday, Patten did not rule himself out of the top job after an article in Saturday's Financial Times said he was a contender. "It would be pretty arrogant to say 'under no circumstances', but I would need a very great deal of persuading," said the former governor of Hong Kong, who added that he had not been asked. But his is not the only name in the hat. Irish media report that European Parliament Pat Cox will reveal in a speech on Wednesday whether he will run again as an MEP in the June elections or whether he is gunning for a higher position as Irish commissioner or Commission president. Other names in the hat include Belgium's Guy Verhofstadt, the justice and home affairs commissioner Antonio Vitorino and former Finnish prime minister Paavo Lipponen. ( EUobserver.com)