Commission President-designate, Jean-Claude Juncker, looks set to secure the necessary votes from MEPs in Strasbourg today, and will be be formally appointed President of the European Commission. Following the vote, Nessa Childers MEP said that she did not vote in support of his candidacy.
“I was extremely disappointed with his lack of 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. This would have been of immense benefit to Ireland.
Ms Childers said there was general unease among a number of S & D MEPs about his candidacy, “I also know from bitter political experience that words are easy, and Mr. Junker although making the right sounds in the hearings did not convince me that he would 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. Supporting his candidacy would be a vote for austerity!
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 vote accordingly. Consequently I chose to abstain in this instance. This is the first time I have ever abstained in a vote, there was just no credible alternative, but I was unable to support his candidacy.”