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Europe needs a President who will drive reform – Nicholson

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson last night backed David Cameron's determined bid to block Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker from becoming President of the European Commission.

Advocates of the ‘spitzenkandidat’ process claim he is entitled to the position after the European People’s Party (EPP), which nominated Mr. Juncker for the role, emerged as the biggest grouping in the European Parliament after last month’s European elections.

Mr Nicholson said:

“Juncker is an old-school eurocrat, committed to building a federal Europe.  His selection would fly in the face of last month’s election results, in which millions of voters in Europe clearly voted to stop the unwieldy Brussels bureaucracy in its tracks.

"Mr. Juncker wants more of the same.  He will not push for the necessary reform nor will he favour transferring powers from Brussels back to the Member States where they belong.

"Did anyone seriously think when they cast their vote they were voting to anoint Juncker as President of the European Commission?

“David Cameron is absolutely right to oppose the federalist power-grab that lies at the heart of the spitzenkandidat process; it should remain in the gift of our nationally elected governments to decide.”

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Ulster Unionists