The new Juncker Commission was approved on Wednesday after a vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
With 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions, MEPs gave their approval to the new 27 commissioners, led by President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker.
In his opening statement ahead of the vote, Juncker presented the new team as the “last chance Commission” and urged EU lawmakers to support him in bringing Europe closer to its citizens.
“Either we succeed in bringing the European citizens closer to Europe, or we will fail (…) I’d like to take this opportunity together with you to get Europe moving again. Europe deserves our efforts and I count on you President and I count on you Honourable Members to give your support to the Commissions in the many tasks facing all of us,” Juncker said.
In what could be seen as a concession to those in favour of a more social EU, Juncker said he wants Europe to have a social ‘triple A’, which is as important as having an ‘economic and financial triple A.”
He added that creating a ‘more political Commission’ was within his priorities.
“I’m not asking the Commissioners to be blindly obedient; as I said before, at my age you don’t start a new carrier as a dictator; I would like the Commissioners to be free. I’ve been ask to do everything in my power to create a political college of Commissioners and I do respect the fact that the Commissioners have political views, and through their deliberations they will feed and enliven the debate within the Commission,” Juncker said.
The new Commission still needs to be formally appointed by EU heads of state before taking office on November 1 for a five-year term.