Commission President-designate, Jean-Claude Juncker, meets MEPs this week in the European Parliament. Speaking in advance of these hearings, Dublin Independent MEP Nessa Childers said her vote for Mr. Juncker will ultimately depend on his attitude towards fiscal flexibility and alleviation of Ireland’s legacy bank debt.
“Specifically my support for Mr. Juncker will finally depend on his commitment to working to ensure the European Commission allow budget flexibility for member states which are, or have been, in Troika Programmes, or facing equivalent circumstances.
“My political grouping in the parliament, the Socialists and Democrats (S & D) has also said that it will back Mr. Juncker only if he promises to deliver a stimulus programme and allow budget flexibility. However the reality is that he will need to garner support from Germany if any of these changes in approach are to be achieved
Ms Childers said there was a growing unease among a number of S & D MEPs about his candidacy.
“Mr Juncker will answer questions at a hearing this morning with Socialist MEPs, and he needs to convince people that he will bring a changed agenda to the commission.
“I also know from bitter political experience that words are easy, and Mr. Junker will have to convince me that he will actually deliver for ordinary people across Europe. People who have shouldered the burden of the financial crisis and who need to be given hope for the future.
Commenting on the Spitzenkandidaten procedure during the European Elections, the process whereby the political groupings in the European Parliament should nominate a lead candidate to the presidency of the European Commission, Ms. Childers said:
“Voters in Ireland cast their ballots on the basis of their values and concerns. My duty now is to represent the voice of those citizens and to make sure it is heard and acted upon by the President-designate; who seems to have secured a majority in Parliament to confirm his appointment.”
The European Parliament will vote on Mr Juncker’s candidates in Strasbourg on the 15 July.
Nessa Childers MEP – Two questions for Jean Claude Juncker
“Will you give a commitment to working to allow budget flexibility for member states which are, or have been, in Troika Programmes, or facing similar macroeconomic circumstances? This flexibility is needed to allow these countries emerge from debt and allow its citizens hope for the future. Because of the financial and banking crisis that swept across Europe and because of the debt burden imposed on Ireland for example, the Irish people are experiencing a debt burden that has stagnated growth and has resulted in record levels of emigration and unemployment.
Likewise, how you intend to further the case for the retroactive recapitalisation of Irish banks through the European Stability Mechanism, in line with the agreement reached in June 2012, by EU heads of government, to break the link between bank debt and sovereign debt?”