BIO-JunkerThe final candidate for EU Commission President in our profile series is the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, who was confirmed as the official nominee of the  Centre-Right European People’s Party (EPP) at their congress in Dublin over the weekend. Juncker was nominated by a vote of 382 to 245 over Michel Barnier, the current EU Commissioner for the Single Market.

Accepting the nomination in Dublin, Mr Juncker said he was “allergic” to the idea of divisions in the EU between Northern and Southern states, and he wanted to “build bridges [and] create consensus in Europe.” He argued that the European Parliament elections were an opportunity to “talk about the real Europe again, the Europe that was crafted and imagined by those who, after the Second World War, came back from concentration camps and the battlefields, and created this political programme. We must talk about this Europe.”

Born in 1954, Juncker is a firm believer in this Europe. He grew up in a continent that was only just emerging from the wreckage of World War II, and his father – a steelworker and trade union activist – was forced into the Wehrmacht during the war. Politically, Juncker belongs to the  Centre-Right, but he is nevertheless suspicious of blindly pursuing free market solutions and has been called “the most socialist Christian Democrat there is.”

Juncker was first elected to Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies for the Christian Social People’s Party in 1984, and rose quickly through the ranks. He was immediately promoted to Minister of Labour, then Minister of Finance, allegedly being groomed as the heir to the then-Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jacques Santer. From 1995 to 2013, Juncker was Prime Minister of Luxembourg, making him one of the longest-serving democratically elected leaders in the world. He argues that his experience (including as President of the Eurogroup from 2005 until 2013, and as one-time governor of both the World Bank and the IMF) uniquely positions him as the man to navigate Europe back to economic prosperity.

If you like the sound of the  Centre-Right candidate, you can vote for them in our Debating Europe Vote 2014. If not, take a look at the profiles of the rival candidates we’ve already published and see if there is anybody you want to support.

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

109 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    A C-O-R-R-U-P-T politician from a micro-state.

    • avatar

      Oh how true , and also a state where he was responsible for giving companies illegal tax breaks

  2. avatar

    Typical EU. Someone gets voted out and in sails the Eurosoviet to the rescue with a potential income-tax-exempt job.

    And they still want to pretend this is somehow a democratic process, using the same logic that was used for decades in the Soviet Union, namely that simply having elections (the Soviet Union had them too) makes a democracy. And of course, it doesn’t but hey let’s not let facts get into the way of propaganda (‘Pravda’).

    So we now have two candidates who were voted out at home (Juncker and Verhofstadt) and one incompetent who was fobbed off to the EU to get him out of the way of the national politicians (Schultz). How wonderfully democratic… /s

    Once again we seem to have someone who hasn’t got a clue, thinks money grows on trees, is a hypocrite (always vetoed ‘deals’ that did not benefit Luxembourg) and aims to have us (Netherlands, Germany etc…) pay for the incompetence and corruption of others (Greece, Italy etc…).

    And the fact that he worked for the criminal organizations of IMF and World Bank should be instant disqualification. The only thing worse would be if he had the crime syndicate of Goldman Sachs on his resume also (*cough* Draghi *cough*) as in those who seek to enrich their friends on Wall Street at our expense (the Euro was Wall Streets idea).

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      You made me lol.

    • avatar

      In response to your last paragraph, surely thats for the people to decide? If they don’t like his history, they won’t vote for him. Simple.

    • avatar
      Richard Stead

      This is why we need Europe. To provide career opportunities for politicians who loose their jobs.

    • avatar

      Nobody has the right to vote for AE Commissioners , they are appointed , and
      proves that there is a democratic deficit in the EU

    • avatar

      I agree

  3. avatar
    Luis Terra

    I would not since the EPP has been the biggest party on the European Parliament and Barroso an EPP President and it has been disastrous. Lets change, europe should be more social again instead of neoliberal.

    • avatar

      Changing for the sake of change does not solve anything!!!
      Trust me, I’m from Romania, I should know better. :)

      Also, you should know that “social” in terms of political ideology does not have anything to do with the “social-life” or “social-media” etc. So let’s not just throw with words around.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      I totally agree. Barroso’s 2nd presidency has been the worst ever. Less democracy, less welfare, inability to face both of UK’s and farmers’ egoistical demands over the balance. The Commision even made wrong calculations over European keynesian multiplier, and once discovered the mistake, they didn’t change their austerity policy! Madness and ineptitude. If extreme right, populism and nationalism are rising again, it is EPP’s fault. I don’t think Juncker has the will or the power to change its party.

  4. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    One of those who destroyed Greece and created 1 million more jobless and 5000 economic suicides-murders in 3 years.To serve market vultures.

    • avatar

      Sure, so it is better to vote a socialist and have 5 millions jobless people. That’s a good idea!

  5. avatar
    Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    All the market fundamentalists must go down. Especially the EPP whose members are the first to blame for the rise of nationalism and racist hate speech.

    • avatar
      Lewis Knodel

      Keep in mind, change is not always progress, new is not always better. New ideas are volatile and unproven, sometimes it is better, and less painfull, just to prefect an old design.

  6. avatar
    Gerard Francois

    The best European for the job. Multilingual from a small country, he is one of the fathers of the euro. Go JC.

    • avatar
      Robert Emory

      Father’s of the EU? Fathers of the EU is exactly the problem in EUrolala land.

    • avatar

      I did not know that in Romania there are extremists. Please spread peace.

  7. avatar
    Jean-Pierre Dusoulier

    Mwaaaiisssss!!!! Ok… pour mettre un peu d’ordre au sein du PPE! Y a l-dedans quelques partis pour le moins nationalistes/populistes…

  8. avatar
    Anna Zouravlioff

    If he promises he will fight to change Europe, maybe!If he will be another Merkel follower, definetly not!

  9. avatar
    Petran Barto

    Yes. Socialist rulers in any European country throw their economies in serious economic crisis, crushing the private sector under a multitude of taxes aimed to please their political clientele. Europe needs less bureaucracy, continue austerity policies, enhance investments.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      I do not agree. It is empirically shown that austerity kill growth. No wonder, since the BCE and the Barroso Commission even calculated a wrong keynesian multiplier. We need more planning and more investments or we’re going to drown while the rest of the world. Just look at FED’s policy.

  10. avatar
    Andreas Thinkpositive

    Since I’m Greek, I should probably say Tsipras, but I won’t; cause Tsipras has no dreams. Just illusions. And I’ve grown mature enough, for new purposeless experiments….

    • avatar

      So, as a mature person, you prefer a deliberate experiment….like the one that is underway in Greece right now making your country fall on its knees. Probably that’s the dream of a mature person!!!!!!

  11. avatar
    Monique Saby

    I won’t because I prefer the new ideas of Guy Verhofstadt and a more democratic EU ! That’s what we need.

  12. avatar
    Filipe Pereira

    Precisely… who is he? and why would we support him? I don’t support people I don’t know, in an organization I don’t trust, for a role I don’t recognize.

  13. avatar
    Matthias Van Steen

    Oh djeez… Verhofstadt, Juncker, Schultz…. we’re doomed in any case…. ECR or unvalid it is for me….

  14. avatar
    Pedro Castilho

    I will certainly support Mr Juncker. And anyone wanting a sustainable social Europe should do the same.

  15. avatar
    Radoslav Yakov

    Definitely No! EU needs a serious reconstruction and this party (EPP) won’t make it. The socialists are the same shit…

    • avatar

      cum poti sa afirmi asta, daca nu intram in UE la noi in tara era mult mai greu.
      Au intrat la inchisoare oameni politici datorita faptului ca suntem in UE si ca ei nu mai pot sa faca tot ceea ce vor in Romania (gen Nastase, Becali si altii)

  16. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    JUNCKER 2009: “Courage… Greeks…” in a hypocritical, almost provocative speech.
    GREEKS 2014: “payback time… mr Juncker…” ;)

  17. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Juncker?… Juncker??? Let me see!… Wasn’t he the guy that was accused for an interception scandal, a couple years ago, in his own country???

  18. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Juncker?… Juncker??? Let me see!… Wasn’t he the guy that instead of his country Luxembourg, which was 10 times worst tax heaven, he bullied and punished Cyprus, along with his company?

  19. avatar
    catherine benning

    The only way to judge a politician is by their past performance, Did you agree with his policies? Did he do what he said he was going to? Did you like the outcome of his efforts? Is he worth another try because he did so well?

    If none of the above apply, why vote for such a person? What do you think you will get the second time around? A different result? If so, that is wishful thinking and a waste of a vote.

    A leopard never changes its spots. If he was no good before he will be less so now.

    I didn’t like his policies, his efforts were stagnant and his character doubtful. I shall not even be thinking of him as a candidate.

  20. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Juncker?… Juncker??? Let me see!… Wasn’t he the guy that was accused for an interception scandal, a couple years ago, in his own country???

  21. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Eu tenho esperança que a Europa terá um Lider Europeu humanista e que seja um Presidente virado para o futuro Europeu e o futuro terá que passar pelas ideias valores e principios de todos os cidadãos da Europa

  22. avatar
    Julian Carax

    These opinions, I believe, are completely ignored. Nevertheless, there should be more transparency on how an official candidate is really selected for the position EU Commission President. “Selected” is the operational word here, and also the undemocratic part of the EU. Everyone I know feels the same way. We have all woken up to the fact how the key figures behind the monolithic organization that is the EU feel about the common man, that he/she are not able to comprehend the complexities of the European experiment and that only the few have the ability to make decisions for the many. Most of us have awoken to this nonsense. I actually do know some of what goes on behind the scenes and the hidden individuals who work the process and what powerful interests they represent. This information is not given to the ordinary EU citizen because if it were the game would be up. The debateeurope schema is really an insult to our intelligence and is not covering up anything. France and Holland vetoed the EU Constitution and the voters were ignored, and the Lisbon Treaty was signed. A ten year old can see through this deception. I am pro Europe but not for a bureaucratic corporatist super-state where the elite live like princes off of the EU budget while the ordinary citizen’s wealth shrinks by the month.

  23. avatar

    Awards and honours Jean-Claude Juncker
    1988 (1988) – Grand Federal Cross of Merit with Star and shoulder ribbon
    1988 (1988) – Grand Cross of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique
    1998 (1998) – Honorary doctorate from Miami University
    1998 (1998) – “Vision for Europe Award” of the Edmond Israel Foundation
    1998 (1998) – Award for the future social order “of the CDA-magazine (” Christian-Democratic-labor force ”
    1998 (1998) – “Médaille d’Or European Order of Merit” (Gold Medal for services to Europe) of the “Fondation European Order of Merit”
    1998 (1998) – Golden Duck “of the country’s press conference Saar
    1999 (1999) – European Crafts Prize 1999 “by the” trade in North Rhine-Westphalia ”
    2000 (2000) – Insignia de l’Artisanat en Or “(crafts badges in gold) of the Luxembourg Chamber of crafts
    2001 (2001) – Honorary Doctor of the University of Münster, Münster
    2002 (2002) – Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honor by President Jacques Chirac
    2002 (2002) – Cicero-speakers prize
    2002 (2002) – Prize of the European Federation of Taxpayers
    2003 (2003) – Honorary Doctor of the University of Bucharest
    2003 (2003) – Honorary Citizen of the city of Trier.
    2003 (2003) – Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania
    2003 (2003) – Heinrich Braun Award
    2003 (2003) – Maju-media award for quality journalism
    2003 (2003) – Quadriga Prize of the European Year of Germany society workshop
    2004 (2004) – Honorary Doctor of the Democritus University of Thrace
    2004 (2004) – Honorary Citizen of Orestiada surrender of the city of Orestiada key unveiling of a street sign and a street named after the Luxembourg Prime Minister
    2004 (2004) – Golden Bandit
    2005 (2005) – Walter-Hallstein Prize
    2005 (2005) – Europeans of the Year
    2005 (2005) – Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of Christ
    2005 (2005) – awarded the Elsie Kuhn-Leitz-prize by the “Association Franco-German companies in Germany and France
    2006 (2006) – Européen de l’Année 2005 (European of the Year 2005) of the French press (Trombinoscope)
    2006 (2006) – Grand Cross of the Order of the Three Stars (Latvia)
    2006 (2006) – International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen
    2006 (2006) – European Prize for Political Culture of the Hans Ringier Foundation
    2007 (2007) – Foreign Associate Member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences at the Institut de France in place of the late Leopold Sedar Senghor
    2007 (2007) – The patron of the non-profit animal protection association “Newfoundlanders in Not eV”
    2007 (2007) – St. Liborius Medal for Unity and Peace of the Archdiocese of Paderborn
    2007 (2007) – Coudenhove-Kalergi Medal of the European Union Munster
    2007 (2007) – Peace Prize of the European Foundation for Ecology and Democracy
    2007 (2007) – Honorary Doctor of Robert Schuman University of Strasbourg
    2007 (2007) – Honorary Member of the Luxembourg Grand Ducal Institute, Department of Moral and Political Sciences
    2008 (2008) – Amilcar Cabral Medal, First Class of the Republic of Cape Verde
    2008 (2008) – Sponsorship word for “zeal of the future”
    2008 (2008) – German citizenship prize
    2008 (2008) – Franz-Josef-Strauss-prize
    2008 (2008) – Honorary Doctor of the University of Pittsburgh
    2008 (2008) – State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia
    2008 (2008) – sharpest blade (prize of the city of Solingen)
    2008 (2008) – Award of the Small States of Herbert Batliner-Europa Institute in Salzburg
    2008 (2008) – European Banker of the Year
    2009 (2009) – European prize of the service economy
    2009 (2009) – European Union Medal in Gold with Star
    2009 (2009) – Award of FASEL Foundation
    * 2009 (2009) – Social Market Economy, MA
    2009 (2009) – Honorary Senator of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts
    2010 (2010) – Prize of the City of Fulda Winfried
    2010 (2010) – Thomas a Kempis honorary stele
    2010 (2010) – Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria[23]
    2010 (2010) – Honorary Doctor of Medicine University of Innsbruck
    2010 (2010) – Saarland Order of Merit
    2011 (2011) – Honorary Doctor of the Faculty of Law, University of Athens
    2011 (2011) – Order of Merit of Baden-Württemberg
    2011 (2011) – Hanns Martin Schleyer award
    2011 (2011) – Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate
    2011 (2011) – European Culture Prize
    2012 (2012) – Werner Blindert Prize
    2012 (2012) – Sigillum Magnum, University of Bologna.
    2012 (2012) – Honorary Doctor of the University of Sheffield
    2013 (2013) – Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer (Greece)

    • avatar
      Taxed To Death

      With a rap sheet this long he should be in prison for life!

  24. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Pietro Moroni
    You are obviously under-informed!

    The UK and France pay roughly the same net contribution to the EU.

    However, the UK also pays c£3billion/year courtesy of losing its fishing grounds to the likes of Portugal and Spain.

    Indeed the EU CAP was a fraudsters charter set up by France to benefit its farmers at the expense of other EU nations and indeed inflict poverty, death and destruction on the 3rd world due to exorbitant tariffs imposed by the EU courtesy of France simply to protect the morally bankrupt French culture.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      Excuse me, which post of mine are you talking about? I made at least 3 posts in this topic, so I don’t get the issue here.

      Anyway, generally speaking, I agree with critics towards the CAP, but we have to underline 3 facts:

      1) CAP initially improved european agricolture (not only in France) so that today we are the main exporter while we used to be one of the main importer; nowadays’ CAP is a fraudster charter supported only by French farmers. but at the beginning it was utterly positive;

      2) Italy destroys tons of exceeding producted goods as milk, cheese, tomatoes, etc., in order to respect the fixed quota; nevertheless, I don’t think that blaming some other nations is useful or right: production quotas are good way of coordination, they just need to be upgraded or abolished, depending on the case;

      3) if you want capitalism and its produced wealth, you cannot blame developed nations to protect their market and wealth, even if this implies damaging 3rd World’s economics.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Pietro Moroni

      1) Agreed.

      2) EU countries destroying food just prop up CAP/food prices is WRONG. Think of the poor and hungry in the developing world. We are ALL human.

      3) If we lived by your logic then there would be NO EU. Think about it, – money generated by wealthy EU countries courtesy of capitalism has been DONATED by same EU net contributors to the poorer EU nations.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      @Tarquin Farquhar

      2) Of course, I was just saying that the current quotas are outdated and meaningless but this is not something like an evil plan to weaken some country’s economics.

      3) Actually we already live by “my” logic. :-P
      Every single country applies tariffs and other means in order to enforce their own economy. Free trade is chosen only when it is possible to compete and only because it is possible to compete: e.g. China, which applies a similar mix of liberalism and protectionism.

  25. avatar

    This guy has been highly recommended by guess who ? The Almighty and The Only One, Undefeated and Undisputed, Angela Merkel… Voting for means continuity of “Austerity for all but for Germany” policy. Now, because russian gas is at stake, they will try evan harder to push their neocon agenda further. More austerity, more muffled whistle blowers, more propaganda, more corporate lobby, more gas from Russia, more taxpayer money sustaining banking sector, more disproportionate allocation of EU funds based on Germany interests, more friendship with Putin, etc.

  26. avatar

    What is doing and what will do Jean Claude Juncker for this terrible political situation in Bulgaria?

  27. avatar

    Absolutely none, in theory. Now, what are the odds that political situation in Bulgaria will remain “terrible” or might change (there are no guaranties) for better if J.C. Junk will give consistency and continuity to what Merkel and so called “Center Right” has started a while ago ? If you like to believe that is no connection between this two elements , go ahead and give J.C. Junk your vote.

  28. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Pietro Moroni
    3…At the end of the day imposing tariffs on poor 3rd world countries resulting in hunger and indeed death JUST to preserve the lazy corpulent EU farmer’s wealthy and indolent lifestyle is UNACCEPTABLE for me at least.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      I’m not talking about ethics. I’m just describing the world as it is today, and it has no ethics.

  29. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Pietro Moroni
    Your descriptive statement regarding ethics is:

    inexact and

    Indeed said statement is worthy of someone bereft of ethics.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      you and your ideas are crap, dear sir.

      PS: learn how to answer instead of opening new posts purposelessly, n00b.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Pietro Moroni
      Your PS was foolish – just because YOU lack the intellectual capability to understand the rationale behind my postings does not make same ‘purposeless’.

      Furthermore, your statement that the ‘world has no ethics’ is errant nonsense, indeed it was ‘Moroni-c’.

      It was for reasons of ethics that I submitted my original post as I regard Jean-Claude Juncker as C-O-R-R-U-P-T and not fit for public office

      Please, kindly, learn how to understand, comprehend, cogitate, ruminate and indeed rationalise before putting finger to keyboard, dear chap.

  30. avatar

    I think that’s the good person to give more strenght to European Parliament and to begin to solve the european problems

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      He was found to be corrupt – do you want the EP to be corrupt too?

  31. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Pietro Moroni
    Oh, I say – don’t go now – I was quite enjoying humiliating you! Drat!

    Anyways, it seems that you like Jean-Claude Juncker lack ETHICS and for that reason you should NOT be allowed to use a pen/keyboard and Jean-Paul Juncker should not allowed to practice politics.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni


    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Pietro Moroni
      Oh, I say – you do seem a tad angry dear boy; so much so that you have made Hmm, HOMOPHOBIC remarks. I am surprised that DEBATINGEUROPE allows your rather unsavoury post to persist?

      BTW, I appreciate your efforts but most of your post was nigh on incomprehensible. Did you say that YOU too thought that JCJ was C-O-R-R-U-P-T too?

  32. avatar

    His affair makes him unreliable. I wont vote for him.

  33. avatar
    Russian man

    You surprise me! You don’t like policy Barroso ralized. And you suppose his policy was anti-democratical. But actually you know nothing about anti-democratical policy. To know what it means you should go to Russia. In Russia are absent free mass media, posibilities to make street oppositional actions.

  34. avatar
    Roberto Macdonald


  35. avatar
    Carlo Barranco

    I have enough of the damages he already inflicted to EU.

  36. avatar

    I support Mr. Jean Claude Juncker, Europe must be more united and more equality between its citizens.

    For those who say that this man is a political dinosaur, I remind them that these politicians have created this great idea of unity in Europe. Some of us are to blame for the emergence of extremist parties because we believe there lies.

  37. avatar

    I also support Jean Claude Juncker. He should be given a chance to improve the EU. He has the credentials for the job and the backing of most European Countries.

  38. avatar

    We need TSIPRAS! (but nobody has courage to face it)

  39. avatar
    screw the eu

    ohhh great an other obscure non democratic elected eu capo shoved down our throats, pushed thru by self enriching eu elites in brussels… my vote goes for disbanding the eu dictatorship/maffioso gang a.k.a. eu parlement

  40. avatar
    mr I Grumble

    The EU(SSR’s) Brussels Politburo of Euro-marxist Merdes, pissoirs and Muppets is un-democratic, financially corrupt, and utopan expansionist Crapaudes who are trying to recreate the ancient holy Roman empire, which included the North Aftrican states of the failed Arab Spring nonsense.

  41. avatar
    Mr. Yoda

    A Dark Lord of Europe he is.

  42. avatar

    Current EU politicians will go down in history as the ones who broke Europe and were responsible for civil unrest and civil war , and the crash of the world financial system as the Euro crashes .

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