EU chief Juncker calls European Parliament 'ridiculous'

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker got angry at today's (4 July) European Parliament plenary session reviewing the Maltese Presidency.

Juncker was in the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg for a debate about the outcome of the six-month Maltese presidency of the Council of the EU, which ended on Friday.

Antonio Tajani, the newly elected Italian president of the European Union parliament, accused Juncker of a lack of respect.

"You may criticize the Parliament, yes, but it is not the Commission which controls the Parliament, it should be the Parliament which controls the Commission", Tajani reminded Juncker.

"There are only a few members in the parliament to control the Commission".

This fueled the fire for Juncker as he held the whole parliament to account for not respecting Malta as it is the smallest member state in the bloc.

Vowing to "never again attend a meeting of this kind", Juncker said: "The fact that only about 30 MEPs are attending this debate is enough to show that the Parliament is not serious".

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His outburst sparked a heated exchange with the President of the Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who ordered him to be more "respectful".

Juncker, himself from the small Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, was visibly annoyed as he watched the proceedings in the near empty parliamentary chamber in Strasbourg.

"The European Parliament is ridiculous, very ridiculous", Juncker said straightaway. Philippe Lamberts of the Greens groups, one of the few to show up, was seen applauding the rebuke of Juncker. "It is the parliament that should be controlling the Commission". While he was still in the hall, Juncker referred to the German and French leaders while scolding the parliament.

But Mr Tajani angrily interrupts him again and says: 'Mr President, I will ask you please to change your language.

"If Mr Muscat was Mrs Merkel, hard as that is to imagine, or Mr Macron. we would have a full house", Mr Juncker said, referring to the leaders of Germany and France.

"The Parliament has to respect even the presidency of the smaller countries which the Parliament is not doing".

  • Megan Austin