MEP for Dublin, Nessa Childers, rejected the college of Commissioners brought before the European Parliament today by its new President, Jean-Claude Juncker, for approval by the house.
Speaking from Strasbourg after the final vote to elect the new European Commission, today, Ms. Childers said: “While some Commissioners-designate demonstrated competence, commitment and a progressive outlook, Mr. Junker was dealt a very bad hand by the European Council of Member State governments.
“Many governments nominated candidates who were obviously picked for the job as thanks for their pedigrees as loyal, party-political servants. We saw serious instances of conflicts of interest and candidates with very questionable commitment to fundamental European values.
“Unfortunately, some of the logical outcomes that should be drawn at the end of the hearings process were marred by paralysis, as the main conservative group decided to hold some candidates hostage in order to force its most unsavoury candidates through.
“Gender equality was also a victim to the Member States’ choice to reward political allies over ability. Mr. Juncker himself recognised as much in his speech, this morning, describing the appointment of 9 women out of 28 as ‘ridiculous’.
“We must rethink the hearings process to prevent it from becoming a rubber stamping exercise where candidates are frozen in by a threat of mutually assured rejection across party lines. Our electorates sent a clear message for change at the European elections. We ignore it at the European project’s peril.
“Mr. Juncker has made some ambitious promises that put his plans in stark contrast with Barroso’s legacy of stagnation. I will be working with my progressive colleagues in the European Parliament to help him realise those, and to keep a very close eye on the most problematic members of his College. Mr. Juncker will be well advised to do too.”