Reacting following today's European Parliament vote on the new Juncker Commission, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer has cast doubt over whether the newly sworn in Commissioners and their programme are “political enough to cope with global changes we are about to face”.

Addressing Jean-Claude Juncker before the vote and explaining why GUE/NGL would vote against his new line-up, she said: “This decision is at its core a political one, and you have not convinced us that this Commission is, as you claim, politically apt to change Europe's course towards solidarity, justice, democracy, peace, and sustainability.”

She continued: “Too many members of the new Commission provoke downright doubt that they will work to turn things around by stopping devastating austerity measures and prioritising social and ecological needs so that citizens feel that the EU is doing something positive for them.”

“No one even admitted that the austerity policy of recent years with the privatisation of public goods and services, the reduction of minimum wages and pensions, attacks on individual and collective human rights were damaging. No one called for an end to this policy which has destroyed the social fabric of member states.”

She continued: “On immigration policy, this new Commission was not clear what it would do: can we expect more police hunts across member state borders and hunting people whose fate has driven them to Europe and who we refuse protection and basic human rights?

“Disappointingly, none of the new Commissioners pledged to move forward in the fight for the preservation of nature, the environment and animal welfare.”

Gabi Zimmer also specifically highlighted the Hungarian Commissioner Navracsics as problematic: “No one could have picked him as an advocate of greater democracy, cultural openness and press freedom.”

Zimmer outlined that the group's criticism does not stop at Juncker and his Commission: “We are disappointed with many MEPs – we now have a grand coalition which has influenced the appointment of the new Commission. We condemn such wheeling and dealing between the major groups of this Parliament. For us, the price is too high.”

Also commenting on the vote, GUE/NGL Vice-President Neoklis Sylikiotis said: “The EU must change direction with policies that create new jobs and ensure the welfare state. The solution against the crisis is found in policies that will boost the economy and social development, rather than on austerity policies. We cannot and will not stay idle if these policies continue. This is why we voted against the new Commissioners and the neoliberal policies which they express and represent.”

Democracy & Ethics & Economic Justice & The Left News ·

Why voting matters!

Rights & liberties & The Left News ·

Left MEPs on the front line to end trafficking in human beings

Economic Justice & Employment and workers' rights & Social Justice & The Left News ·

Left Drive Progress in Declaration on the Future of Social Europe