EU Commission President Jean - Claude Jucker gets down to the serious business of running Europe (image source)
Pressure is building on Jean-Claude Juncker to resign as President of the European Commission following the UK referendum, with the Czech Republic leading calls for him to “change the habits” of the executive after last week’s Brexit referendum in the UK.
Juncker is not the “right man for the job” and should resign, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said on Monday (27 June).
The Czech minister said someone in the EU institutions should take “responsibility” for last week’s vote by British citizens to leave the EU.
“Right now I can’t see the European Commission chairman as the right man for the job,” Zaorálek told Czech television.
Asked whether Juncker had decided to resign or not, EU Commission chief spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said the answer was in two letters, and the first one was “N”.
Asked by EurActiv.com about the consequences of the Brexit vote on the European Commission, Schinas replied it was not the EU executive who called the UK referendum.
“So the ones who must draw conclusions from this are the ones who called the referendum,” Schinas said.
EurActiv spoke to other diplomats from Eastern Europe, who didn’t go as far as calling for Juncker’s resignation.
But one admitted his country could join a motion to sack Juncker at a two-day EU summit opening in Brussels tomorrow (28 June)
– “if there was such a motion”.
“The situation is changing by the hour. We need to send messages to our public that yes, we can change Brussels, so that it listens. There were many things done wrong and we must talk about that openly,” a diplomat from Central Europe told a group of journalists.
Juncker is blamed in particular for the harsh statements he made on Brexit – saying “out is out” – and his push to start divorce negotiations immediately with the UK.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sees things differently and appears in no rush to pressure UK Prime Minister David Cameron to trigger Article 50, which would open a two-year negotiation process to withdraw Britain from the EU. She sees the possibility that to rush the process could destabilise Europe.
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