After being proposed by the European Council as the candidate for President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker was elected today by the European Parliament with 422 votes. In the 2014 European elections campaign, Juncker was the lead candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP), which won the elections and formed the largest group in the European Parliament with 220 seats. EPP President Joseph Daul warmly welcomed the election of Jean-Claude Juncker:
“On behalf of the EPP, I would like to warmly congratulate the election of our ‘Spitzenkandidat’, Jean-Claude Juncker, as President of the European Commission. His unparalleled experience, his in-depth knowledge of European affairs and his capacity to build consensus are all qualities that will make him an excellent President of the European Commission.
I am confident that under the leadership of Jean-Claude Juncker, who has set clear and strong political priorities, the European Union will continue on the path of economic recovery, generating jobs and growth. Juncker’s ambitious plan will lead to greater prosperity for European citizens. I speak for the entire EPP political family in wishing Jean-Claude Juncker much success in his new role, and we look forward to working closely with him over the next five years.
Today also marks the conclusion of an unprecedented process and a true milestone in the European project. Last March, in an open competition in Dublin, Jean-Claude Juncker was elected as the EPP’s candidate for the presidency of the European Commission. This was unchartered territory and both Jean-Claude Juncker and the EPP rose to the challenge by leading a fantastic campaign all across Europe.
After three months of intense campaigning, the EPP won the elections of 22-25 May and secured its position as the largest group in the European Parliament. The heads of state or government of the EU put forward Jean-Claude Juncker, the candidate of the winning party, based on the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. The European Parliament has now confirmed this decision by a strong majority.
Today’s vote is historic and will set a precedent for the future of the European Union. This is of course an achievement for the EPP but, more importantly, it is a step forward in European democracy.”