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Veteran European deal-broker ready to extend political longevity

English.news.cn   2014-06-28 12:51:58
 • Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday secured nomination as the next president of the European Commission.
 • The decision is to be finalized by a vote at the European Parliament in mid-July.
• Juncker enjoys broad support in European Parliament. Yet Juncker is viewed with suspicion by London.

 

BRUSSELS, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday secured the nomination by the European Council as the next president of the European Commission.

The decision, which will see him replace Jose Manuel Barroso at the helm of the executive body of the European Union (EU) for the next five years, is to be finalized by a vote at the European Parliament in mid-July.

According to the Lisbon Treaty, the nomination for the president of the European Commission must be approved by the European Parliament. The newly-elected European Parliament will take office on Tuesday.

Juncker enjoys broad support in the European Parliament. The 60-year-old political veteran is backed by the European People's Party, the largest political group in the legislature with more than 200 of the 751 seats.

Having served in the Luxembourg government for over 30 years, he was the country's prime minister from 1995 until last year. His personality and ability to facilitate consensus make him a man of synthesis between Paris and Berlin.

The renowned deal-broker is one of the architects of the Maastricht Treaty and the Economic and Monetary Union of the EU. He also served as the first president of the Eurogroup for eight years, before being replaced by Jeroen Dijsselbloem in 2013.

A supporter of European integration, Juncker will be the third political figure from Luxembourg to chair the European Commission, after Gaston Thorn (1981-1985) and Jacques Santer (1995-1999).

Yet Juncker is viewed with suspicion by London. British Prime Minister David Cameron had even threatened with the withdrawal of his country from the 28-member bloc to oppose Juncker's possible presidency.

Having dealt with former French President Francois Mitterrand and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Juncker must now keep balance between advancing the construction of the EU and placating Euroskeptic London.

On the occasion of its summer summit in Brussels, the EU has established five priorities for the next five years, including growth and job creation, energy security and climate change and joint action in international affairs.

Juncker faces no easy path ahead, especially in the context of the European financial crisis and the rising of populists in the 2014 European Parliament elections.

Related:

News Analysis: Defeat for Cameron, problems remain for Merkel

STRASBOURG, June 27 (Xinhua) -- As was widely predicted, British Prime Minister David Cameron lost his battle on Friday to block the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as the next President of the European Commission (EC).

Former Prime Minister of Luxembourg Juncker was backed by 26 of the EU's 28 heads of government at the meeting of the European Council, with just Cameron and Hungary's Viktor Orban voting against the nomination.   Full story

Juncker nominated for European Commission President by EU leaders

BRUSSELS, June 27 (Xinhua) -- European Union (EU) leaders decided on Friday to nominate Jean-Claude Juncker as next European Commission president at the summit held Friday in Brussels.

The president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said on his official twitter: "Decision made. The European Council proposes Jean-Claude Juncker as the next President of the European Commission."    Full story

 

Editor: Liu
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