The new European Commission led by former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, has taken office. It is the first time since 1994 that a European Commission took office on time. The beginning of the mandate of the new Commission ends the long process of creating Europe’s new executive. Jean-Claude Juncker was proposed on 27 June by the European Council to the European Parliament as a candidate for the position of the chief of the Commission and on 15 July he was elected by the Parliament by a strong majority of 422 votes (he needed at least 376 votes). After the election, Mr Juncker has set up his own team to form the new Commission.
The final list of the Commissioners was agreed between Mr Juncker and the Council at the beginning of September. On 10 September, the President-elect presented his team and the allocation of portfolios, which was followed by individual hearings of the Commissioners-designate in front of the relevant parliamentary committees. The EU Council finally appointed the new European Commission on 23 October.
The agenda of the new Commission is heavy. The first plan of the Commission’s new chief is to launch a 300-billion-euro investment plan by the end of this year to boost job creation and economic growth. The crisis in Ukraine is still deadlocked and the negotiations with the United States on the massive free trade deal remain uncertain. “Now it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get down to work. Europe’s challenges cannot wait,” Mr Juncker commented. “As of today, my team and I will work hard to deliver Europe the new start we have promised,” he added. The Commission, the executive power of the European Union, draws up the legislative proposals needed to put the member states’ decisions into effect. The Commission employs about 23,500 people who submit numerous proposals across its whole agenda.