Jean-Claude Juncker to Run for the President of the EU Commission

Written by | Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Jean-Claude Juncker, a Luxembourg politician, has acquired the support of Germany’s main conservative party in the quest to become the next President of the European Commission. Mr Juncker’s candidacy was announced by the European People’s Party (EPP) on Thursday (February 27) but Luxembourg’s former prime minister had been expected to run for this influential position a long time before. Jean-Claude Juncker will thus compete with Valdis Dombrovskis, former Latvian prime minister, for the job that directly influences the lives of about 500 million Europeans. Perhaps, the duo of candidates will be expanded by Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner in charge of banking reform, who is expected to seek the support of the center-right EPP.
Nevertheless, having the backing of German chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats, Mr Juncker is likely the hottest candidate for the position. As Elmar Brok, an important member of the Christian Democrats, put it, “EU Commission President is not a position for on-job learning and Mr Juncker is someone with extensive European experience.” He played an essential role in handling Europe’s debt crisis as the leader of Eurozone finance ministers.
A new President of the EU Commission, an institution responsible for proposing EU legislation, supervision of existing rules, as well as coordination of trade talks and foreign policy, will assume his position in November this year thus replacing Jose Manuel Barroso, who has held the post for ten years. Since 2009, when a new EU treaty was introduced, the role of the EU Parliament in determining who would become the President of the Commission increased, which has also made the elections to the European Parliament more popular. The elections on 22-25 May 2014 are expected to give rise to a number of nationalist parties as a result of the consequences of the economic crisis. However, whatever political party wins the poll, it is expected to give a general picture about who is most likely to win the presidency post.

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