Commenting on today's election in the European Parliament of the European Commission College proposed by president Jean-Claude Juncker, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said:
"The Greens/EFA group today voted against the Juncker Commission because we are not convinced the overall package and policy direction presented by president Juncker is what is needed re-establish the trust of our citizens in the nascent European democracy. We believe he has got the priorities wrong: in our view, these should be the reduction of the rapidly rising inequalities within and among member states, making sure our ecological footprint fits the limits of our environment and restoring the sovereignty of our democracies above the power of financial markets and multi-national companies.
"We are also concerned by the way he distributed core portfolios among the candidates he was given from EU governments. The final College is clearly the result of a deal between the EPP, socialist and liberal groups in the EP. Rather than being chosen for competence, candidates have in many cases gotten portfolios based on party affiliation, with MEPs from the bigger groups accepting these problematic candidates as a quid pro quo. The male-heavy line-up and the unacceptably low representation of women in the College, is also a major source of regret."
Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms added:
"This is not a blanket rejection: our group is supportive of many of the commissioners-designate and, as a pro-European political force, will work constructively with the new Commission where possible to try and ensure it delivers meaningful responses to the real challenges facing Europe and its citizens.
"Our concerns about the lack of focus on sustainability and environmental protection have not been eased by the last-minute decision to make the same vice-president charged with dismantling EU regulation responsible for sustainability, which requires strong regulatory action. This is compounded by the cobbled-together nature of some of the portfolios, notably the decision to combine the energy and climate and environment and fisheries portfolios, which could lead to a downgrading of these important issues.
"While president Juncker could only choose from the pool of candidates provided by the member states, we believe his choice of portfolio allocation has placed candidates in charge of portfolios in which they will have clear conflicts of interest, like in the case of Mr Canete and Mr Hill, or for which they are unsuitable, like Mr Navracsics. There were finally too many problematic areas for our group to endorse the team proposed by president Juncker."