Published On: Fri, Sep 13th, 2019

EU news: Ursula von der Leyen criticised by Juncker over European Commission role | World | News


Ms von der Leyen announced on Tuesday that Margaritis Schinas has been put forward for the role of “Vice-President for protecting our European way of life”. But this has sparked criticism as the role includes migration and asylum policy, as well as security and education. Jean-Claude Juncker, who will leave his role as president on October 31, called for the job description to be changed.

He told the Euronews TV channel: “I don’t like the idea that the European way of life is opposed to migration.

“Accepting those that come from far away is part of the European way of life.

“I think that this will have to be changed.”

The first female Commission president-elect picked 14 men and 13 women to join her Commission.

Ms von der Leyen’s candidates will be approved by the European Parliament on November 1.

She described her team “as strong and diverse as Europe”.

Some of the other candidates include Romanian Rovana Plumb as the transport commissioner candidate, Polish Janusz Wojciechowski as agriculture commissioner and Irish Phil Hogan as trade negotiator.

But David Sassoli, the president of the European parliament, added the job title should be changed.

READ MORE: Brexit showdown: Johnson faces battle on Juncker’s home turf

“And our values, on which our Union is founded- all of these will not change, no matter what interpretation is given to a portfolio that is now out there.”

Guy Verhofstadt, the parliament’s Brexit coordinator and former leader of the European liberals, also defended the role.

He tweeted: “Our ‘European Way of Life’ is not implying we want a white supremacist Europe.

“That’s actually Europe’s Original Sin and we have to fight it every single day.”

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson will travel to Luxembourg for a meeting with Mr Juncker next week, the European Commission has said.

A spokeswoman said: “As President Juncker has said from the beginning, he was looking forward to working constructively with Prime Minister Johnson and it’s just that they haven’t managed to meet yet.

“The reason the lunch is taking place in Luxembourg is because the President has to go straight to Strasbourg afterwards as its plenary week and Mr Johnson agreed to come to Luxembourg to facilitate this happen.”

But the spokeswoman said she was “not going to speculate” on what Mr Juncker hoped to achieve from the talks.

Mr Juncker will then address the European Parliament on Wednesday on Brexit.

Express.co.uk has contacted the EU Commission for a comment.



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