The European Parliament rejected a motion of censure against Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s team today (27 November), the result being better than the one he obtained when the Commission was initially voted on, two weeks before the Luxleaks scandal erupted.
Without surprises, MEPs rejected the censure motion proposed by the far-right EFDD group and far-right non-attached MEPs, with 461 votes against, 101 in favour and 88 abstentions. Over the motion censure debate held on Monday, it became clear that the mainstream political groups will support him, in spite of his role in controversial corporate tax avoidance schemes during his long tenure as prime minister of Luxembourg.
The surprise is that this time, Juncker obtained wider support than on 22 October, when MEPs approved his Commission, two weeks before the Luxleaks scandal erupted.
On 22 October, the Juncker Commission received 423 votes in favour, 209 against, and 67 abstentions.
Today’s vote indicates that the far-right didn’t get support even from the extreme left, which unsuccessfully tried to organise a censure motion itself.
The vote also confirmed what Juncked had himself said about his chances to receive approval by MEPs.
Asked by EURACTIV on 12 November if he believed that he would still have been appointed as candidate – the so-called ‘Spitzenkandidat’ – of his political group for the Commission’s top job, if the facts of the scandal had been known, Juncker confidently asserted “Yes”.
>> Read: Juncker breaks cover on Luxleaks
In order to dismiss the Commission, under Parliament’s rules, the motion would have needed to obtain a double majority: two-thirds of votes cast, and a majority of MEPs, that is, 376 votes.