Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has received the greenlight from the European Parliament to become the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
With the only opposition coming from the far-right groups, the socialist politician will succeed Federica Mogherini as the EU’s diplomacy head from 1 November.
On Tuesday morning, MEPs representing two thirds of the foreign affairs committee gave Borrell the go ahead.
This comes after Borrell faced a 3-hour hearing in which MEPs quizzed him over his policy plans.
The current Spanish foreign minister is a staunch opponent of independence, which has led to several clashes with the Catalan administration, including a legal battle he launched against Catalan offices abroad.
A tense interview with Deutsche Welle and comments on the genocide of Native Americans are some of the other controversies in which he has been recently involved.
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Josep Borrell tiptoed around the Catalan issue in the hearing on Monday.
‘Considering the post I aspire to, I’m not going to comment on a country’s internal affairs, including mine,’ said Borrell, who faced MEPs’ questions in Brussels on Monday afternoon.
A former president of the EU Parliament from 2005 to 2007, and a social democratic heavyweight, Borrell’s candidacy is seen as an attempt by Spain’s acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, to gain influence in the new European Commission.