Race for EU Commission president heats up as Barnier prepares to run

France's Michel Barnier says he is prepared to run for president of the European Commission. Mr Barnier currently serves as the commissioner for the internal markets and services and has been heavily involved in the designs for a European banking union, in an attempt to restore confidence in the Eurozone economy.

Prior to an official candidacy, Mr Barnier would first have to be nominated by the centre-right European People's Party (EPP).

The commissioner's fortunes are closely tied to those of European centre-right and the results of the upcoming European elections in May.

Speaking to Le Figaro, Mr Barnier said:

If I am chosen by the European People's Party, I am ready to commit myself.

If elected, his priority areas would be immigration, the single market, security, industrial strategy and infrastructure.

The centre-left group in the European parliament, the Socialists and Social Democrats, have already nominated the current president of the European parliament, Martin Schulz, as their candidate of choice for the presidency of the commission.