Statement on The Juncker Commission

Young European Socialists (YES) welcomes the announcement of the Juncker Commission with mixed expectations. Despite the restructuring of the Commission as a new, promising idea to organize the work of the Commission towards more functioning “government” for the Union, more needs to be done to address the democratic deficit.

“Business as usual” is not an option

The composition of the Commission fails to reflect the outcome of the European election, as does the priorities put forward. We, as the Young European Socialists, are concerned that continuing like no further changes are needed, only works to strengthen the far-right that already gained so much ground in the elections. After these elections, “business as usual” cannot be an option. During our campaign, we were proposing another Europe, based on concrete changes both in the structures and the policies of the EU. It is our duty to continue to fight for it during the 5 next years.

We sincerely hope that the strong team of socialist Commissioners, Frans Timmermans, as well as Corina Creţu, Maroš Šefčovič, Neven Mimica, Karmenu Vella, Pierre Moscovici and Vytenis Andriukaitis, will be able to implement the deep reforms, we have been defending during our common campaign. We have a specific thought for our veteran Federica Mogherini for her appointment to be the European Union’s new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice- President of the European Commission. We believe that in the time of multiple crises, the EU needs strong foreign policy, with fresh perspectives and strong leadership, which we trust Ms. Mogherini is able to offer.

Nationalism, sexism or evident conflicts of interest should be out of the Commission

The 2014 European elections were campaigned for with strong emphasis on reforming the European structures in order to democratize them. The election of the Commission President on the basis of the European elections was a sign of democratization of the European Union. Seeing the way the commission has been composed, it seems that the process ended there.
As socialists, we also want to express our concern in some of the nominations for the Commission: Firstly, we are disappointed that despite wide public demand and many promises, the gender parity has been pushed into the shadows once again when the nominations are confirmed. We need more women in politics, and we need to take the issue of gender equality seriously. The Juncker Commission miserably fails to lead by example in this field.
In addition to that, we oppose the nomination of Tibor Navracsics as a commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship. As member of the Hungarian governing right-wing party Fidesz, he was instrumental in drafting the legislation that lead to conflict with the European Union in 2010: he took part in Fidesz legislative changes that lead to wider government control over media, limited the independence of the justice system, changed the election system to favour the ruling party and disregarded the human rights of women, minorities and poor people. He, as well as the Hungarian government, directly opposed European values.
Finally, we are also offered a Eurosceptic for the leadership of financial markets and services, Jonathan Hill, and a Commissioner for environment, Miguel Arias Canete, who has strong links to oil companies and is known for his sexist remarks.
As socialists and social-democrats, we cannot accept a Commission composed with nationalists, sexists or any commissioner with conflict of interest risking the Commission ambitions and agenda. The parliamentary auditions of the new Commissioners will be the occasion for our MEPs to point it out.

Continue to fight for change

Young European Socialists worry of the proposed Commissions ability to formulate policy beyond the lowest common nominator between the wide range of political parties and ideologies represented in the collegium. We would prefer to see a Commission reflecting the outcome of the elections that is politically accountable and with a clear political orientation.
For now, Europe still faces a mass unemployment crisis that threatens the young generations for years to come. The climate crisis continues to grow. We have an armed conflict in our neighbourhood region, questioning the ability of the EU to respond to the security and stability concerns of today. The financial market failures that caused the unprecedented economic crisis still remain. As Young European Socialists we will continue to fight for a social harmonization to the top within the EU, the end of tax havens and any kind of fiscal dumping weakening our welfare states. As opposed to the current austerity policies, we demand a real European investment plan based on an increased European Budget in order to relaunch the economy and implement an energetic transition financing renewable energies.
As internationalists, we won’t stop promoting ambitious environmental goals and international relations based on consistent social norms and a true democratic and equal dialogue.

We believe the credibility of the European socialist family lies in our ability to concretely change our citizens’ everyday life: it is the challenge we collectively have to face for the 5 next years.

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