International

Juncker: fall of a dinosaur?

Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg's PM, arriving at the Luxembourg Parliament, the 10th of July 2013.

Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s PM, arriving at the Luxembourg Parliament, the 10th of July 2013.

Jean-Claude Juncker resigned as Prime minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, just after a scandal concerning the Service de renseignement de l’Etat luxembourgeois, (SREL, the Luxembourg intelligence services) accused of corruption. Early elections are planned for the next October.

Some political analysts started to speculate about the Juncker’s political future, PM of Luxembourg since January 1995 and oldest member of the European Council. On Twitter, Jean Quatremer, French journalist and correspondent for the French daily Liberation in Belgium and the European Union, considered the stepping down Prime minister is now available to be the European People’s Party candidate for the presidency of the European Commission. This hypothesis is not relevant, for the moment, because according to his party, the CSV (Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei, Christian-social Popular Party), Jean-Claude Juncker is running for a new term, putting his longevity, his experience and his popularity, forward to win.

Indeed, Jean-Claude Juncker is still popular within the Grand-Duchy, in spite of his very long period to power and he was given up by his socialist allies who quitted the ruling coalition and introduced to mention of censorship. What is more, the CSV has ruled Luxembourg since 1979 and ensures the political stability of the country, which is enjoyable for Juncker.

Viviane Reading, current European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs

Viviane Reading, current European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs

Furthermore, Juncker has no real challengers, excepted Viviane Reading, the current European commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, maybe. But although considered as possible Christian-social leader (if Juncker finally decided to not run), it is finally unlikely the former minister is candidate, preferring the European Commission to be the next president and challenging Martin Schulz, current chairman of the European Parliament and probable candidate for the European Socialists. In other words, Jean-Claude Juncker should have a large room of manoeuvre and stay at power.

So, the next October legislative elections should confirm the CSV and Jean-Claude Juncker’s victory, once again. The main issue is to know if the Christian-socials will get an absolute majority or find partners to form a coalition and which partners. The LSAP (Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei, the Luxembourgian socialist party) will want to enjoy these early elections to improve its results and take the better of the situation. And the CSV will be more reluctant to form a coalition with its now ex-partner especially if Juncker is still Prime minister.   

drapeau2_460_thumbSo, the constrained Juncker’s resignation should not really question the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg’s quietness and political stability. The stepping down Prime minister is going to get a new mandate and will be the oldest incumbent head of government within the European Union. In other words, the dinosaur is not going to die.

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