EUROPE: EU commissioner set to quit

EU commissioner Jan Figel is expected to formally resign after he was elected leader of an opposition party in his native Slovakia, writes Martin Banks for The Parliament. He will hand in his resignation letter to commission president Jose Manuel Barroso tomorrow after his election last weekend as leader of Slovakia's Christian Democratic Movement.

At a party congress in Nitra, Figel received an overwhelming 304 out 309 delegate votes.

Figel is responsible for education, training, culture and youth in the EU. He has been a commissioner since 2004 and served for a short time in the former Romano Prodi executive. Two of his main achievements have been in helping to set up the European institute for innovation and technology and pressing for an EU-wide strategy for culture, the first time that has happened. A commission spokesman said it was up to the Slovak government to decide who it will nominate to replace him.
Full report on The Parliament site