In late October, only a matter of days before being installed as the new president of the Brussels EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker was forced into an embarrassing u-turn over his plan to put the interests of the pharmaceutical industry at the heart of European health policy decisions. Now however, faced with damaging document leaks regarding secret tax avoidance schemes for multinational corporations in Luxembourg introduced under his controversial tenure as Prime Minister there, pressure is mounting for him to resign. Accused of hypocrisy given that he is now head of the very European executive body supposedly in charge of investigating the covert tax practices of multinationals, his trustworthiness has once again fallen under deep suspicion.
The growing calls for Juncker’s resignation have already gained heavyweight media support. Particularly notable in this regard is an article on the Bloomberg View website, the editorial division of the Bloomberg international news agency, the title of which openly states that “Jean-Claude Juncker Needs to go”. No stranger to media scandal, in his former role as head of the Eurogroup, the main forum for the management of the euro currency zone, Juncker was widely described as the “master of lies”.
Whilst, in defending himself against these latest accusations, Juncker claims to have “the democratic support of European citizens”, this is demonstrably delusional on three counts. Firstly, he wasn’t directly elected by the people of Europe and was only able to assume the position of president of the Commission following a convoluted decision process involving the European Parliament and the so-called European Council. In addition, the May 2014 European Parliament election that he cites as the source of his democratic mandate saw the lowest voter turnout on record with only slightly over 42 percent of the European electorate choosing to participate. Finally, and arguably most damning of all for his democratic credibility, despite the Brussels EU having opaquely dictated, prior to the election, that when choosing their candidates for the European Parliament voters would simultaneously be selecting the Commission president, polls show that only around 5 percent of the European electorate were either even aware of this or motivated by it. This is hardly surprising, of course, as Juncker’s name didn’t appear on a single ballot paper.
The people of Europe have clearly shown they reject the undemocratic machinations of the Brussels EU dictatorship. It is therefore time for Juncker to stand down and the creation of a better Europe to begin.