TEN OF 13 Slovak MEPs supported Jean-Claude Juncker in his run for the post of the European Commission president. The 59-year-old politician received 422 votes, with 250 MEPs voting against.

Among Slovak politicians, Juncker did not get support from Jana Žitňanská of NOVA and Branislav Škripek (Ordinary People and Independent Personalities – OĽaNO), who are both members of the European Conservatives and Reformists group and who claim that they voted against his nomination, and Richard Sulík (Freedom and Solidarity - SaS), who is member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) faction, the TASR newswire reported on July 15.

Other Slovak opposition politicians, however, welcomed the result and congratulated the new EC president. MEP Eduard Kukan of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) described Juncker as “a statesman and experienced politician, but also pragmatist”. According to him, the European Union need such personality now in order to use its potential to grow, as reported by the SITA newswire.

Also another SDKÚ MEP Ivan Štefanec and party’s chair Pavol Frešo congratulated Juncker to his victory. Frešo praised the priorities with which he wants to enter the office.

“Based on his long-term work which enjoys respect, I am convinced that he can pursue the solutions for specified problems of the Union,” Frešo said, as quoted by SITA, adding that the EU needs to make bold and responsible decisions.

Ján Figeľ, chair of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), also congratulated Juncker, saying that since he is from Luxembourg and knows the composition and operation of the EU Council and EU, “he has good preconditions to prefer communitarian method of the Union’s policy and balance the involvement and tasks of big and small countries in the group”, as reported by SITA.

Juncker will take the post for five years after the new EC is formed, likely to begin November 1. He replaces José Manual Barroso after 10 years in the function, SITA wrote.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.