Juncker slams European Parliament "ridiculous" in unusual attack

Empty Plenary Hall - Problem of the European Parliament
Juncker lashes out at 'ridiculous' EU parliament

05 July, 2017

Tuesday, Jean-Claude Juncker launched a scathing attack on the EU Parliament saying they're "ridiculous" simply because many MEPs were a no show.

The extraordinary outburst came as Juncker was speaking to a handful of MEPs in the large Strasbourg chamber in a session to mark the end of the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council, the body representing the European heads of state.

"The commission is under the control of the parliament, but the parliament has to respect even the presidencies of smaller countries", added the European Union commission chief, referring to Malta, the smallest European Union state. "It's not the commission that controls the Parliament, but the Parliament that controls the commission", he said.

The European Commission president, however, was still angry, and went on to say that there were too few members in the plenary to control the commission: "You are ridiculous!"

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. The President of the Commission does no good to European democracy when boycotting the EU Parliament.

"This is not serious", Juncker said because of the presence of only thirty - in his words - MEPs in the hall.

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The European Commission is technically accountable to the Parliament.

He was interrupted twice by Tajani, who insisted on a respectful tone to the institution. Seeing the hemicycle nearly empty, he called the parliament "ridiculous". "The parliament is totally ridiculous", Juncker said. Philippe Lamberts of the Greens groups, one of the few to show up, was seen applauding the rebuke of Juncker. "I'm putting that to you today", Mr Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg, said.

Juncker personally called out German Chancellor Angela Merkel and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron's over their absence during his rant.

"I will never attend a meeting of this kind".

"The Commission is under control of the parliament, but the parliament has to respect even the presidencies of smaller countries, which the parliament is not doing", he said.

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