‘You Are Ridiculous,’ E.U.’s Juncker Tells European Parliament
BRUSSELS – The United Kingdom is preparing to leave Russia making threats and the United States turning its back on it, the European Union needs all the friends it can get.
But the bloc is Tuesday, when Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, destroyed another branch of the body, the European Parliament.
“You’re ridiculous,” Juncker said, after hitting the microphone in front of him.
M. Juncker, who heads the European Union’s executive arm, said he was bitten only 30 of the 751 members of the legislature will be present tomorrow for a meeting in the legislature in Strasbourg, France.
Yes, the French president, attended Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and Emmanuel Macron, lamented, “would have been a full house.”
Challenges await Antonio Tajani, the new president of the European Parliament on January 17, 2017
Europeans lose faith in their Parliament in November. 5, 2012onio Tajani, the President of Parliament, usually moderate, has introduced himself.
“Mr. President, I ask you to change your language,” he said, his face tense with anger. “We’re not ridiculous, please, please.”
This request did little to curb M. Juncker, who insisted on a larger crowd by his appearances in the future. “I’m never going to a meeting like this,” he thundered.
The breach could also have been a sign of disrespect to Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Little Malta, who, as Mr Juncker spoke to parliament on Tuesday, but bit his tongue during the exchange.
Tajani may have been crazy public criticism – which was broadcast live on the web – but the argument of M. Juncker, although he seemed absorbed, had some validity.
European Parliament lawmakers will vote for debates on topical issues such as Britain’s plans to withdraw from the Union, known as the Brexit, and the future of the general European Union.
Other issues – such as Tuesday’s debate on Malta’s achievements in the past six months, where he held the rotating presidency of the European Union – pose a lethargic response at best.
“Even if Juncker’s behavior was totally inadequate, it’s just a point where the EU heads Plenary talks, often seems less interesting compared to interventions by Bigshots like Merkel or Macron,” said Sven Giegold, a prominent German lawmaker with the Greens.
“You could say that the parliamentary calendar is full of people with some solemn acts,” said Doru Frantescu, director of VoteWatch Europe, a research organization in Brussels. “But today it was a bit unusual. Juncker usually gets a lot of audiences.”
M. Juncker later apologized to Mr. Tajani himself.
M. Juncker “regrets the words used in the debate this morning,” Jaume Duch, the European Parliament’s top spokesman, said on Twitter. “The case is closed,” added M. Duch, perhaps a little optimistic.
Institutions and agencies of the European Union are routinely criticized for exceeding their needs. However, the European Parliament has come particular, criticisms by the way it spends every month between Brussels, the seat of the administrative machinery of the union and Strasbourg, 270 miles away.
It has also been criticized for the way in which the number of voters participating in the European elections, every five years has been steadily reduced since 1979, slightly more than 40 percent, while the body has become a point of Departure for a number of insurgents and anti-system parties with anti-European vigorously.
Marjory van den Broeke, Deputy Speaker of Parliament was not able to specify the number of members present in the plenary, while Juncker spoke. The attendance figures only appear in the minutes of the following day and cover all day, she said.