The EP confirms the appointment of Juncker as President of the EC

The European Parliament gathered in plenary session in Strasbourg approved the appointment of the Luxembourgish Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission, with 422 votes in favour and 250 against. This is the first time the President of the Commission is formally elected by the European Parliament. This is due to the application of the provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon and, as pointed out by several leaders of political parties during the discussion which took place before the formal vote, it is a demonstration of greater democracy. Indeed, it was up to the voters to confirm the candidacy proposal by the heads of State and Government for the role of President of the EC. Juncker, in his speech, referred to a program for the next Commission (“A New Start for Europe: My Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change” – link) and pointed out how it was enriched as a result of the comments emerged during the hearings with the political groups last week. Among the priorities identified by Juncker, competitiveness and investment will play a key role. In this sense, he announced that he will promote an investment plan (February 2015) to stimulate growth, employment and competitiveness able to mobilise 300 billion euros over three years in public and private investment. He said that the policies of austerity and growth could live together, respecting our commitments under the stability and growth plan. He continued arguing that the euro is a form of protection for Europe and that without this we would be faced with a clash between national currencies. Finally, he outlined as a priority the issues of foreign policy, immigration and energy.

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