‘Europe’s economic policy to be run by socialist’, says Juncker

Economic and financial policy in Europe is to be run by a socialist, according to European Commission president-designate Jean-Claude Juncker.

Each area of policy in the EU is steered by a commissioner who is responsible for putting together proposals and pushing the Commission’s position in negotiations over final rules with the Parliament and the Council.

According to the eurosceptic think-tank Open Europe, Juncker made the pledge in a hearing with Socialist & Democrat MEPs earlier this week. He was setting out his position on allowing flexibility in the rules designed to ensure stability within Eurozone countries.

Juncker said: “The stability pact will not become a flexibility pact, but will use flexibility within the pact and a socialist will be in charge of this dossier.“

Open Europe says the two top candidates for the job are former French finance minister Pierre Moscovici and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

If Junker’s pledge is met, it will mean the person shaping European financial services policy proposals and the person in charge of the European Parliament’s response are both Socialists. It has been announced that Italian S&D MEP Roberto Gualtieri will replace the UK MEP Sharon Bowles as chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

In what will be seen as a win by the Conservatives, MEP Vicky Ford will lead Parliament’s response on single market policy after being elected as chair of the Internal Markets and Consumer Protection committee.

Juncker was the chosen candidate of the centre-right European People’s party for Europe’s top job and his appointment was opposed by the UK. MEPs will pass judgment on his nomination as Commission president in a meeting of the European Parliament next week.