Sunday March 29, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Jean-Claude Juncker wins centre-right backing in bid for top EU job

Former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, a fixture of European politics for the past 25 years, won the backing of Europe's centre-right parties on Friday to be their candidate for European Commission president.

Juncker, who lost office last year after 18 years as prime minister, beat French rival Michel Barnier, the EU's regulation chief, to become the European People's Party (EPP) top candidate for the European Parliament elections in May.

A first tally of votes among EPP delegates, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a party congress held in Dublin, showed Juncker securing 382 votes to Barnier's 245.

It puts Juncker, 59 and one of the region's most-experienced deal brokers, in contention for the EU's most influential job, with oversight on legislation affecting 500 million Europeans.

While Juncker is a consummate dealer in the world of Brussels and European politics, he is also a divisive figure. As chairman of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers during much of the region's debt crisis, he once said it was necessary sometimes to lie and said he favoured secret, dark debates.

A strong believer in Europe and federalism, he has tempered some of his positions to win over more of the EPP, including Merkel, with whom he has not always seen eye-to-eye.

Juncker will now go head-to-head against Socialists and Democrats candidate Martin Schulz and Liberals candidate Guy Verhofstadt for the Commission presidency.

Whichever group comes top in the European Parliament elections - and polling at this point suggests it will either be the Social Democrats or the EPP - will have first dibs on trying to secure parliamentary backing to be Commission president.

However, the decision also depends on the EU's 28 leaders backing the person for the Commission. While Juncker may get support from many of the leaders with whom he shared a negotiating table for nearly two decades, others, such as Britain's David Cameron, are not fans.

A new Commission president - replacing Jose Manuel Barroso, who has held the post since 2004 - will assume office for five years from November. The Commission has principle responsibility for proposing EU legislation and takes the lead in trade negotiations and in coordinating foreign policy.

Choosing a lead candidate for Europe's main political groups is aimed at making the vote more relevant to citizens, who have turned out in steadily fewer numbers to vote in European Parliament elections since the first were held in 1979.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Friday March 7, 2014 (16:58)  
Disabled convicts to be freed early
Greek energy minister starts two-day visit to Russia on Monday
Opposition tells Tsipras to get control of his party
Vitsentzos Kornaros passenger ferry finally on its way
Fitch downgrades Greece amid bailout uncertainty
Ratings agency Fitch has downgraded Greeces sovereign rating amid growing uncertainty over the new government's pledge to overhaul reforms needed to restart bailout loan payments and avoid d...
Bank accounts continue to bleed
Pressures on Greek bank deposits have continued in March, with sector officials estimating that households and enterprises have withdrawn a net 3 billion euros in the first weeks of this mon...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Greens live dangerously in Istanbul
Panathinaikos played with fire in Istanbul, but still managed to beat Galatasaray 86-84 on Friday and climb to the third sport of its group two games before the end of the Euroleague top-16....
SOCCER
Greek federation backs injured Holebas
The Greek soccer federation on Friday insisted that international defender Jose Holebas had been dropped from team training in Austria because of injury and not for any other reason. Media r...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Lets change the subject
Lets talk about the weather. The cloudy skies, the rain, storms and humidity, the overall heavy atmosphere. Its better to think of that than politics and politicians, whatever cuts they ma...
EDITORIAL
Too little, too late?
Many of the measures that are rumored to comprise part of the list that the Greek government is expected to submit to the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Mon...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Disabled convicts to be freed early
2. Greek energy minister starts two-day visit to Russia on Monday
3. Opposition tells Tsipras to get control of his party
4. Vitsentzos Kornaros passenger ferry finally on its way
5. Foreign laborer dies after falling from 3rd floor of Iraklio building
6. A 5.3 Richter quake rattles area between Crete and Kasos
more news
Today
This Week
1. Fitch downgrades Greece amid bailout uncertainty
2. Opposition tells Tsipras to get control of his party
3. Let's change the subject
4. Greek energy minister starts two-day visit to Russia on Monday
5. Too little, too late?
6. Disabled convicts to be freed early
Today
This Week
1. Next Monday is D-Day for state funds
2. PM faces Merkel amid race to detail reforms
3. Some more equal than others
4. Greece to present reforms by Monday, says gov't spokesman [Update]
5. Looking at the Chinese model
6. The army and the people, united
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.