• Facebook
  • Facebook
  • Facebook
  • Facebook

Search This Blog

Visit our new website.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Will the real Jean-Claude Juncker please stand up?

This week, Jean-Claude Juncker conducted his tour of political groups in the European Parliament in a bid to get their support for him to succeed Barroso. On this occasion, German social democrat MEP Udo Bullmann stressed:
"Mr. Juncker will have to present concrete ideas over how he will address the massive investment gap, the creeping de-industrialisation of Europe and the social distortions. We will not be won over with empty phrases or with recycled ideas. There is too much at stake for people to do that."
We're not sure how confident Mr. Bullman can be, given that Juncker gave a masterful display of how to be all things to all men and women, finding the right things to say to placate everyone from conservatives to communists. Here is an overview of some of the highlights.

Juncker is not a federalist after all...
... but favours at the same time shifting more powers to Brussels:

He is is in favour of "budgetary rigour"... 

...but not "excessive austerity"       
He promises the Socialists the Economic and Monetary affairs portfolio...
...but then says it is still up for negotiation (according to ALDE)
"On the composition of the Commission, we note his statement during our hearing that no portfolio has as yet been attributed to any particular Commissioner or political family, not least the portfolio of economic and monetary affairs – in contrast to what has been reported as having been said to the S&D Group."
His manifesto argued for reducing energy dependency and ensuring affordability...
"We need to diversify our energy sources, and reduce the energy dependency of several of our Member States... we need to strengthen the share of renewable energies on our continent... It is, at the same time, an industrial policy imperative if we still want to have affordable energy at our disposal in the medium term."
...while opposing a "rush" towards "new technologies": 

He also endorsed EU enlargement to the Western Balkans while coming out against "any specific enlargements" within the next few years.

While his desire to build bridges is commendable, on many key issues he ended up either sitting on the fence or espousing outright contradictory positions. Will the real Jean-Claude Juncker please stand up?


Unknown said...

European people don't exist as nations. A socialist commissioner will be in charge.

Average Englishman said...

Is Juncker another Tony B. Liar? It appears that he'll say what anyone wants to hear at any given time to achieve his immediate objectives. If O.E.'s reports are correct he has already admitted that he thinks it's OK to lie if that will serve his overall political ambitions. So, overall, he's an ideal person to be in charge of the EU! An ideal reflection of the high ideals enacted on a daily basis (often in secret of course) by the boys and girls on the EU gravy train.

Am I alone in thinking that such people are contemptible? They speak one minute of high ideals and then indulge the next in grubby back room politics. Shameful and seriously undemocratic.

Oh and @Ishank Thakur, you've got things the wrong way round. The people of France, UK, Germany, etc., nation states do not exist as 'European people' other than in the minds of some EU bureaucrats. And as for a socialist commissioner being in charge; in charge of what exactly? If there were such an animal what would he or she achieve? In the words of Margaret Thatcher, sooner of later all socialists run out of other people's money. I pray that it will shortly not be mine.

Denis Cooper said...

Cameron kicked up a huge fuss, accusing Juncker of being a raving eurofederalist and the wrong man for the job, Juncker now denies that he is a eurofederalist, but neither of those men have any reputation for complete truthfulness ... in any case if Cameron wanted radical reform of the EU involving treaty changes, as he once claimed, then those treaty changes would not be in the gift of the President of the EU Commission, who could try to obstruct and delay the process but could not prevent the member states changing their treaties in any way they wished ... on the other hand, if Cameron has already given up on the idea of getting treaty changes and would just try to fob us off with some secondary legislation, then he would be right to be concerned about the attitude of the President of the Commission because it has the right of initiative for secondary legislation ... meanwhile if Cameron thought that by kicking up a fuss about Juncker he could rally patriotic public support for his party he was mistaken, people have now given up trying to detect any "Juncker bounce" in support for the Tory party.

Denis Cooper said...

Oh, and I'm sure that if Juncker was in UKIP the Tories would accuse him of giving a Nazi salute in that photo ...

Jesper said...

The one common thing in all his promises is that if he can make the promise then he should be expected to have the power to keep the promise.
How much power needs to flow to the center for him to be able to keep his promises?
How many competences need to to flow to the center for him to be able to keep his promises?

He's not a federalist, he just happens to want exactly what a federalist wants. Pure coincidence and again, just because he wants power to the center he's neither a central-planner nor a federalist. Or maybe, just maybe we should take a closer look at him to see if he despite what he says actually is a central-planner and federalist?