Italy: Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni will not run in EU election

Brussels: Italy’s European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni told POLITICO he will not run in the European Parliament election, and appeared to rule himself out of the race for top EU jobs.

“I will not run for the European Parliament,” Gentiloni said as he walked with his team through the corridors of the European Parliament. Asked if his name would be on the table during the horse trading for top EU jobs, the Italian politician said, “No, I will be back in my own country” after the June vote.

It is highly unlikely that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who is leading a right-wing coalition government in Italy, would have nominated Gentiloni for another term in Brussels.

But his name had been circulating in Brussels as a potential lead candidate for Europe’s center-left family, which includes his Democratic Party. So far only the name of Gentiloni’s colleague in the European Commission, Nicolas Schmit, has emerged as an official contender to become the face of the Socialists’ campaign.

The Party of European Socialists will pick its top candidate in Rome in March.

Asked if this will be the end of his career in politics, Gentiloni — a former Italian prime minister and foreign minister — quipped: “I will never retire.”