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Jean-Claude Juncker (born 9 December 1954) is a politician from Luxembourg who since 2014 has been President of the European Commission, one of the main institutions of the European Union.
From 1995 to 2013 he was the 23rd Prime Minister of Luxembourg, and from 1989 to 2009 he was the Minister for Finances. By the time he left office, he was the longest-serving head of any national government in the EU, and one of the longest-serving democratically elected leaders in the world, his tenure encompassing the height of the European financial and sovereign debt crisis. From 2005 to 2013, Juncker served as the first permanent President of the Eurogroup.
In 2014, the European People's Party (EPP) had Juncker as its lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidat, for the Presidency of the Commission in the 2014 elections. This marked the first time that the Spitzenkandidat process was employed. Juncker is the first President that prior to the election has campaigned as a candidate for the position, a process introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon. The EPP won 220 out of 751 seats in the Parliament. On 27 June 2014, the European Council officially nominated Juncker for the position, and on 15 July 2014, the European Parliament elected him with a majority of 422 votes from a total of 729 cast. He succeeded Jose Manuel Barroso as President on 1 November 2014. Juncker stated that his priorities would be the creation of a digital single market, the development of an EU Energy Union, the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade Agreement, the continued reform of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union—with the social dimension in mind—and a "targeted fiscal capacity" for the Eurozone, as well as to negotiate a new deal with Britain. During his leadership, Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016.
President is the head of the European Commission. According
to the Treaties, he decides on the organisation of the
Commission, allocates portfolios to members of the
Commission and can make changes at any time. The President
also determines the Commission's policy agenda, defending
the general European interest. The President was elected by
the European Parliament on the basis of his Political
Guidelines that were formed drawing on his contacts with
the parliamentary committees and the strategic guidelines
for the Union presented by the European Council of 27 June
New Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment
Connected Digital Single Market
Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change
Deeper and Fairer Internal Market with a Strengthened
Deeper and Fairer Economic and Monetary Union
Reasonable and Balanced Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.
Area of Justice and Fundamental Rights Based on Mutual Trust
New Policy on Migration
Stronger Global Actor
Union of Democratic Change
President of the Commission chairs their weekly meetings and
sets its policy agenda. He represents the Commission in:
European Council meetings
G7 and G20 summits
Bilateral summits with third countries
Major debates in the European Parliament and the Council
(with representatives of national governments)
The European Union established a Commission to act as their
executive and to promote its general interests. The Commission is composed of the College of Commissioners
comprised of 28 members, including the President and Vice-Presidents. The Commissioners, one from each EU country, are the Commission's political leadership during a 5-year term. Each Commissioner is assigned responsibility for specific policy areas by the President.
- Group photograph of the European Commissioners in 2017.
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