Crises beset Juncker's 'last chance' EU

AFP, 30.10.2015

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A year after Jean-Claude Juncker took charge of what he called the "last chance" European Commission, his plans to win back sceptical voters have been partly sidelined by existential threats like the migrant and Greek crises, analysts say.

The wily former Luxembourg prime minister vowed when he took the reins of the 28-nation EU's executive arm in November 2014 to be more "political" than his Portuguese predecessor, Jose Manuel Barroso.

That meant fewer rules about the shape of cucumbers and other red tape that had given Brussels a bad name, and more dealing with the bigger issues affecting increasingly disillusioned Europeans.

But while the Commission has not been afraid to be proactive, even if it annoys member states, that has failed to translate into wider support for Europe -- as the victory of eurosceptics in Polish elections last weekend shows.

"The final verdict is still out," Janis Emmanouilidis of Brussels-based think-tank the European Policy Centre (EPC) told AFP.

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