Who should be the next President of the European Commission? In the run-up to the 2019 European elections, we’ll be profiling the various Spitzenkandidaten (“lead candidates”) for the job. Next up are the candidate for the European Greens, Ska Keller from Germany and Bas Eickhout from the Netherlands.

Why are the Greens putting forward two candidates for one job? Well, the party argues there should be gender balance across all the top spots in the EU, so they’ve decided to put forward one man and one woman for the role. The European Green Party is a pro-European party that wants to “change Europe”. They want to make the EU more sustainable, social, and democratic. However, the defining issue for the Greens is the fight against climate change and the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.



is the veteran of this twin team. The German MEP is now appearing for the second time as the Greens’ Spitzenkandidat.

Franziska Maria “Ska” Keller was born on November 22, 1981 in Guben, Brandenburg (in the former GDR). She studied Islamic Studies, Turkish and Jewish Studies in Berlin as well as in Istanbul.

Keller is considered cosmopolitan and multicultural. She lives with her Finnish-Swedish husband in Brussels and speaks German, fluent English, French and Spanish, as well as Turkish and Arabic.

Ska Keller began her political career with the German Green party (officially known as “Alliance 90/The Greens”). She served as the board member of the German Young Greens, spokeswoman for the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) and chairperson and spokesperson on women’s policy for Alliance 90/The Greens in Brandenburg. At the age of 27, she was elected to the European Parliament in 2009, and in 2014 she was already nominated as one of the party’s two Spitzenkandidaten.

Ska Keller is young, educated and motivated. She wants to change and reboot Europe. Her campaign motto is: “Nicht nur Opa für Europa” (“Europe is not just for grandad”). For her, it also belongs to the new generation of the Greens.

In the Keller-Eickhout combo, Ska Keller puts her focus on European migration and trade policy, which she wants to make fairer and more sustainable.


is co-Spitzenkandidat for the European Greens, a Member of the European Parliament and leader of the delegation of the Dutch GroenLinks party.

Bas Eickhout was born on October 8, 1976 in Groesbeek, the Netherlands. He graduated in chemistry and environmental science, and has been involved in environmental and climate protection since the start of his career. In the early 2000s, he worked as a researcher for the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. Since the 1990s, Eickhout has also been politically active within the Dutch GroenLinks (“GreenLeft”) party.

Since 2009, Eickhout has been a member of The Greens / European Free Alliance in the European Parliament. He is a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and of the Delegation for relations with the United States.

Eickhout’s driving mission is the fight against climate change. He has many years of experience in climate policy through his work in the European Parliament and at various UN climate summits, and was involved in climate policy in the Netherlands.

You cannot pigeonhole Bas Eickhout. He says he does not want to be categorised according to political ideology, but wants to swim against the current. He wants to do things differently to others.

“The greening of the economy and the socialisation of Europe” are at the heart of his political agenda, and he wants to implement the Paris Climate Agreement and do more for the citizens of Europe.

PORTRAIT CREDITS: Eickhout (cc) – European Parliament, Keller (cc) – Keller

14 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    I dont want a president i cant directly elect. Also i don’t want progressive green parties to lead the already socialist institution.

  2. avatar

    Don t know these guys…. I don t want any socialist or green stalinist to be president

  3. avatar

    Not really….their positions about leading Europe are not clear

  4. avatar

    No: I like a lot of their politics, but that is where they can do the best, in politics. The Commission presidency calls for a different kind of skills.
    That said, I think we really need to do better next time.

  5. avatar

    As long as “fairer migration and trade policies” means – no ISDS variants from ICSID, and stopping the re-population of EU, and returning “refugees” back to their homeland as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so.
    (It’s not clear from short presentation here)

  6. avatar

    No. “Nicht nur Opa für Europa” is frankly an infantile campaign slogan. More to the point, I don’t get the sense that Ska Keller really thinks things through, but instead relies on dogma. She seems more the sort who first comes to a conclusion and then looks for the evidence to support it. As for the inclusion of a male candidate for the sake of “gender balance”… what is this, yin yang? Will they bring different “energies”? Sounds like woo nonsense to me.
    I’m annoyed that it had to be the US to discover the diesel emissions scandal. I’m annoyed that it has only now emerged that we’ve been shipping our plastic to China to recycle with no control whatsoever over what happens to it, or whether or not they actually recycle it, because China has decided to stop taking it, and all of a sudden we are told that recycling plastic is actually not economical. What exactly have the Greens been doing all this time? Too busy trying to drum up opposition to big, bad golden rice to notice any of the aforesaid?

  7. avatar

    This ridiculous pair need to stick to the beach cleaning oil of sea birds and leave politics to the grown ups.

  8. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Are they serious? “The EU Funnyparty“ in Fairyland?……..one man and one woman for one post? That will finally make the EU the laughing stock on earth!

    ……will they demand a doubling of the EU budget once being the king & queen of the EU?– Or opt for ½ a man & ½ a woman= 1.00 LGBT president (sorry folks- not funny- neh- not my fault!)

    Or go even further- maybe share ½ a salary each, consume ½ a lunch each, drive ½ a car each (=not green= verboten!) or peddle ½ a bicycle each= green= ok, occupy ½ an EP seat each, accept ½ a vote each, ½ a secretary each & sing ½ a EU anthem each?


    Sorry, not my kind of logic!

  9. avatar

    Nice u are giving good information for all types of problems fa ed by future and now

  10. avatar
    val gillespie

    I heard Bas Eikhout on BBC Hardtalk, and for the first time in my life I felt inspired by a politician, to the extent that I no longer wish for Brexit but would like a Europe where he may be a leader. I used to dislike the old European parliamentarians but I feel he would change Europe for the better. I think my grandchildren would appreciate his values, for they fear climate change, and the threat to wildlife.

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