LUXEMBURG – The political career of Luxembourg’s premier Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU’s longest-standing prime minister (since January 1995), was on the edge of taking a new direction on Sunday night after his christian=democratic party CSV suffered significant losses in the country’s national election (-4 seats).
Let’s remember he stepped down from the presidency of the Eurogroup on 21 January 2013, making of him the longest-serving head of the Eurogroup.
For eight years, from 2005 till 2013, Jean -Claude Juncker was the first permanent President of the Eurogroup whose role was to ensure close coordination of economic policies within the euro area,. He divided his time between Luxembourg and Brussels , not to mention numerous trips around the world . In this position, Mr Juncker had few resources. He suffered from the long battle between France and Germany , which both do not have the same conception of the embryo of “economic government” of the monetary union .
However, the function allows him to assert undeniable talents as a negotiator , even if key decisions at the height of the debt crisis , rising to the level of the European Council, had to be taken by the Heads of State and Government in face- to-face talk with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor . To prevent the collapse of the eurozone , Juncker was able to forge close ties with the leaders of the International Monetary Fund , called to the rescue to support Greece , Ireland and Portugal.and then to close the gap between north and south of the monetary union.
Would the 2013 elections be an end for the eurozone veteran’s carreer or the chance to rebounce ?
Well, It was often suggested in the press that he, like his predecessor Santer, could eventually abandon his position as Prime Minister to assume the presidency of the European Commission. During his last participation in a committee debate in the European Parliament he responded to the suggestion by MEP, Hans-Peter Martin that he “should become the next Commission President” with “Yes”, fuelling speculation that he might be a candidate for the role in 2014 .