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Jean-Claude Juncker - an ace in leadership

Jean-Claude Juncker has made a successful start.

As he handed out precise tasks to his new Commissioners he indicated to them that Europe now has a 29th Member State, i.e.the 25 million unemployed, and that this has to mobilise all of their energies and employ all of their time. With this he has confirmed his priority: reviving the European economy.

To succeed he has overturned all of the accepted conventions. The Commission will have an executive of 7 Vice-Presidents who have authority over the others in order to rise to the obvious challenges of stimulating new growth for jobs, the digital economy, energy and climate, and the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union. A specific Commissioner will be responsible for migration. A first Vice-President - another novelty - will for his part have authority over all of the others and ensure that there is better regulation - in other words less bureaucracy. This is because the new President of the Commission wants his College to devote itself to what is vital and exclude the superfluous. This new executive comprises five former Prime Ministers who have been successful in their own countries, which are generally small. This means that the new realities of Europe are being taken into account.

These were the proposals that we - along with others - had published and have been requesting for a long time. They reflect his independence and demolish the ignorant comments whereby some - countries, parties, lobbies - tried to ascertain "who had won, who had lost".

According to the treaties the Commission comprises high level profiles who are at the exclusive service of the common interest and not representatives of the various States. It is high time we remembered this.

It remains to succeed in making the changes that Jean-Claude Juncker, quite rightly, wants and introduce into Brussels' practice what he calls new working methods. In his opinion the Commissioners are political and not administrative leaders, who should be working in a team and speak with one voice - focusing on priorities which have been ratified by the European Parliament and in agreement with those of the European Council, (Heads of State and government). The Commission's communication service and its departments, which is not a punitive body, are being reformed in depth as a result.

These real changes, which are difficult to criticize, will be the focus of exegesis and study but they reflect the urgent requirement for an electro-shock to rise to the threat that weighs heavily on the European project. We now hope that the European Parliament will be up to it and share this vision and that the capitals of Europe will play the game, in other words that they will assume their responsibilities.

The Commission now has a leader and that is good news.

It might be that the institutions of Europe have found theirs too.