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Socialist Family Will Hold Juncker Commission to its Promises

(Strasbourg - 16 September) PES President Sergei Stanishev today promised a fair but thorough hearing to the Juncker Commission from the Socialist family. The PES have negotiated together with Jean-Claude Juncker to ensure that important portfolios are secured for Commissioners from our family. In the hearings, Commissioners must guarantee that the Juncker Commission maintains its commitment to a progressive new policy agenda. We expect to see commitments to social justice and social dialogue, and a real effort to fight against inequality.

Sergei Stanishev recalled the commitments made by Jean-Claude Juncker after May’s elections, which sanctioned the conservative leadership of the last Commission: “The PES supported Jean-Claude Juncker based on the balanced political programme he presented. We are concerned that the team put in place may struggle to respect his commitments. We will use the hearings to secure concrete pledges from Commissioners-designate that they will respect the wish of Europe’s citizens for an ambitious investment policy to stimulate the economy and bring an end to the obsession with austerity-only measures.”

Stanishev continued: “Juncker’s Commission must prove it is serious. We want to hear details of this €300 billion investment plan, and we want to know how it will create jobs and support re-industrialisation in Europe. We also want to discuss an expansion of the Youth Guarantee scheme. We don’t want this to be a ‘Barroso III’ Commission. We need action not words.”

Stanishev insisted on the high level of scrutiny each nominee can expect: “The Parliament has taken an important political decision to invite all the Commissioners-designate to meet with Parliamentary Committees, including the Vice-Presidents. This means that MEPs will ensure each Commissioner has a clear understanding of all the issues under their responsibility, and will support key socialist priorities. We will make sure that they are committed to respecting the political guidelines which were the basis of Mr Juncker’s election.”

The hearings of the Commissioners-designate will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels during the week of 29 September, and on 6-7 October. All hearings will be broadcast live online by the European Parliament. The final vote on the Juncker Commission is due to take place in the week of 21 October, with the new Commission taking office on 1 November.

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