European Parliament approves new European Commission

Jean-Claude Juncker

Juncker’s team was approved by 423 votes at the parliament in Strasbourg, with 209 MEPs voting against and 67 abstaining.

In a speech before the vote, Juncker said he would present a huge 300-billion-euro investment package to boost jobs and growth by Christmas, amid global fears of a return of the eurozone debt crisis.

He said the EU must do more to tackle issues such as the Ebola outbreak in west Africa, the threat of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria, and the wave of migration from across the Mediterranean.

“Let’s get Europe moving again,” said Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg.

The European Commission includes one member from each of the 28 nations in the EU, a bloc that covers more than 500 million people and taken together represents the world’s biggest economy.

Juncker’s team risked missing its start date after parliament forced him to reshuffle some of his team but the final members made it through the last of more than two weeks of gruelling confirmation hearings on Monday.

He takes over from Portugal’s José Manuel Barroso, whose 10 years at the head of the commission saw the EU gain greater powers even as Brussels became increasingly unpopular with sceptical European voters.

It is widely regarded as the most powerful institution in Brussels as it drafts laws, enforces national budgets, and is responsible for negotiating trade deals between other countries and the EU.

The new European Commission is made up of:

  • EC President Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourg)
  • First Vice-President, Commissioner for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Frans Timmermans (Netherlands);
  • Vice-President, Commissioner for Euro & Social Dialogue, Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia);
  • Vice-President, Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources, Kristalina Georgieva (Bulgaria);
  • Vice-President, Commissioner for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic (Slovakia);
  • Vice-President, Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen (Finland);
  • Vice-President, Commissioner for Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip (Estonia);
  • High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini (Italy);
  • Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova (Czech Republic);
  • Commissioner for Migration & Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos (Greece);
  • Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society, Gunther Oettinger (Germany);
  • Commissioner for Health & Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis (Lithuania);
  • Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager (Denmark);
  • Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship, Tibor Navracsics (Hungary);
  • Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici (France);
  • Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Jonathan Hill (Great Britain);
  • Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc (Slovenia);
  • Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas (Portugal);
  • Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen (Belgium);
  • Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elzbieta Bienkowska (Poland);
  • Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrom (Sweden);
  • Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development, Phil Hogan (Ireland);
  • Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu (Romania);
  • Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy, Miguel Arias Canete (Spain);
  • Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella (Malta);
  • Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides (Cyprus);
  • Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn (Austria);
  • Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development, Neven Mimica (Croatia).
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