SP votes to reject Juncker team

22 October 2014

SP votes to reject Juncker team

The SP delegation in the European Parliament today voted against the appointment of the new European Commission under the leadership of Jean-Claude Juncker. Explaining the decision, SP delegation leader Dennis de Jong said ‘The Juncker team is unfortunately no break with the past. Budget fetishism, which has led to the current economic stagnation in Europe, will simply be continued. Moreover, Juncker has announced that in the policy areas of energy, foreign affairs and defence he wants more Brussels rather than less. Also, this team consists once again of people who are never satisfied with how much power they have. No heed has been paid to the message which those who voted in the European elections sent: less power to Brussels.’

In addition to these criticisms the SP has serious doubts about the integrity of some European Commissioners, as Dennis de Jong explains. ‘The Spanish candidate Canete is not credible given his connections with the oil industry. The Hungarian candidate Navracsics remains responsible for the citizenship portfolio while as the right-hand man of Prime Minister Orban, he must share responsibility for restrictions on press freedom and the muzzling of NGOs.’

Despite these general criticisms the SP does see one or two brighter signs in the proposals presented in the last few weeks by Juncker and his team. ´I have the idea that better agreements could be arrived at with the new Commission on transparency’ said De Jong. ‘Juncker has already said that he wants to see a compulsory lobby register. I’ll be holding him to that. It’s also positive that Juncker and Timmermans have stated that they want to do something about some sort of solidarity check which would mean that all new European legislation, as well as the recommendations made to member states in the framework of economic governance, would be tested for their effects on poverty and unemployment. In the last European Commission this looked a lot more difficult and we must of course make full use of these openings.’.

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