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Friday 27 May 2016

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Northern Ireland's MEPs voted against Jean-Claude Juncker election

By Steven Alexander

Published 16/07/2014

All three of Northern Ireland's parties in Strasbourg voted against Jean-Claude Juncker for president of the European Commission – although the controversial Luxembourger still got in.

He received the support of 422 MEPs out of the 729 who voted – making him the first democratically elected president of the EC – and will succeed Jose Manuel Barroso.

The election of the man who played a major role in Europe's bailouts to the most powerful post in Brussels was firmly opposed by David Cameron. The Prime Minister saw the committed integrationist as an obstacle to reform of the institutions.

The DUP MEP Diane Dodds described his election as "a bizarre affair".

"In this election there was only one candidate and the outcome had already been agreed by three of the largest groups in the Parliament prior to the vote," she said.

"I believe that he represents the same tired, federalist European policies. Europe needs both reform and change."

Ulster Unionist Jim Nicholson said that he voted against Mr Juncker's appointment because of his stance on European integration and reform.

Sinn Fein also opposed Mr Juncker. Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan said Mr Juncker had offered her party no indication of a change of direction in the EU's austerity driven agenda.

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