Thursday

19th Jan 2017

Juncker may resign in Luxembourg spy affair

  • Jean-Claude Juncker is the longest serving Prime Minister in the EU (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Former Eurogroup chief and the EU's longest-serving Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, may resign on Wednesday (10 July) over a spying scandal in his home country Luxembourg.

He is due to appear in the parliament's special committee at 2pm local time to respond to accusations of "leadership failure" in the control of the Service de renseignement de l'Etat luxembourgeois (Srel), which is currently being investigated by the state prosecutor for illegal wiretapping, corruption and dealing in stolen cars.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"This is one of my last appearances in my current function," the 58-year-old politician said over the weekend at an event in Esch-sur-Alzette after having lost the support of his Social Democrat coalition partners.

His withdrawal came after a parliamentary inquiry concluded that Juncker had to take "political responsibility" for the intelligence agency.

He claims he had no knowledge of its shady dealings, but as Prime Minister he is ultimately responsible for all the government's organs.

Instead of keeping an eye on the spies, the long-serving Eurogroup chief was too often in Brussels, his critics say.

Juncker has served for over 30 years in the government of Luxembourg, first as finance minister and for the past 18 years as Prime Minister.

He held the chairmanship of the Eurogroup of finance ministers ever since it was created, in 2005 until last year, when he handed over to Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

With the bailouts of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain on the agenda, Juncker had a lot on his plate in the past three years, having to chair countless all-night Eurogroups and teleconferences among ministers.

He left the Eurogroup post last year in order to "focus on national duties" and prepare for the general elections, which should have taken place next year.

If his governing coalition dissolves, early elections may take place as early as October.

News in Brief

  1. Outgoing US vice-president warns Europe on Russia
  2. German far-right party calls for end to WWII guilt
  3. First Chinese freight train arrives in Europe
  4. Europe has no vision, says Italian minister
  5. Juncker has 'slight doubts' on his group's convention idea
  6. EU parliament spat changes nothing, says Juncker
  7. German elections likely on 24 September
  8. Maltese PM announces plan for Brexit summit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey