الثلاثاء , مايو 18 2021

MEPs to approve Juncker nomination

Jean-Claude Juncker is the choice of the European People’s Party, which won May’s European elections

The European Parliament is expected to approve the nomination of former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission, despite strong opposition from Britain.

If backed by a majority of MEPs, he will succeed incumbent Jose Manuel Barroso of Portugal in November.

Last month, Mr Juncker won the backing of 26 out of 28 leaders of the EU.

UK PM David Cameron – supported by his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban – called the move “a serious mistake”.

Mr Cameron said Mr Juncker, 59, was too much in favour of closer political union and might block EU reform.

The presidency is the most powerful job in Brussels – the Commission drafts EU laws, oversees national budgets, enforces EU treaties and negotiates international trade deals.

New procedure

Mr Juncker, a veteran of Brussels deal-making, was a lead candidate of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), which won May’s European elections.

David Cameron (left) had tried unsuccessfully to block Mr Juncker’s nomination

Objecting to his candidacy, Mr Cameron had pushed for – and lost – a vote on Mr Juncker, breaking with tradition.

In the past such appointments were made by the EU leaders – meeting in the European Council – by unanimity.

After the vote Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said there would be a review of how the Commission president was nominated – but only after the new Commission team was in place.

She said Europe was “ready to address British concerns” about its future direction, and that she shared Britain’s ideas about what the EU should be like.

Mr Juncker’s supporters value his record of consensus-building and commitment to EU integration.

Under new EU treaty rules the leaders have to take account of the European election result when nominating a Commission chief.

In the coming months a new 28-member Commission team – one from each country – will be appointed. The EU will also appoint a new foreign policy chief and new president of the European Council.

Jean-Claude Juncker: A man for Europe?

Arguments for and against Juncker

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