In an exclusive interview with Euronews, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the newly established portfolio titled ‘Protecting our European Way of Life’ must change.
Juncker told Euronews he disagreed with the portfolio titled “Protecting our European Way of Life” given to Greece’s new commissioner, Margaritis Schinas, a former member of the European Parliament and a long-serving official at the Commission.
“I don’t like the idea that the European way of life is opposed to migration. Accepting those that come from far away is part of the European way of life,” he said, adding that the portfolio should be more precise.
Juncker said that for him, the “European Way of life” meant putting together main talents and energies, and respect for others.
Asked if he lost control over migration, Juncker said it was member states who lost control of migration.
Reaction to the appointment of a European Union commissioner for protecting the “European way of life” has received mixed reviews with some accusing the EU of pandering to the far-right.
Former Greek MEP Schinas has been nominated to take on the newly created role of EU commissioner for “protecting the European way of life”.
The job’s portfolio includes migration, security, employment and education.
As for the UK’s willingness to leave the EU, Juncker does not consider it a failure of his tenure.
Juncker added that he had no say in the 2016 referendum because they told him not to intervene.
“The British were told for more than 40 years that they were in but they didn’t want to share all the policies that have been decided.
“The British from the very beginning were part-time European, what we need is full-time Europeans,” he said.
Juncker still believes the UK wishes to leave the EU despite all the political chaos going on in the island-country at the moment. However, he added that Brexit would be a “lose-lose situation” for the UK and the EU.