Members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly on November 27 to reject a motion of censure against European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in connection with allegations that in his time as prime minister and as finance minister of Luxembourg, he enabled tax breaks for large numbers of top companies.
The European Parliament rejected the motion with 461 votes against, 101 in favour and 88 abstentions.
The motion was tabled by 76 EFDD and non-attached MEPs, meaning it was pushed mainly by Euroskeptics, further to the “Lux leaks” plenary session debate with Juncker on November 12. A debate on the motion was held on November 24.
In order to dismiss the European Commission, under the European Parliament’s rules the motion would have needed to obtain a double majority: two-thirds of votes cast and a majority of all MEPs (meaning, 376).
The long-time Luxembourg premier took office less than a month ago, but has already weathered several political storms, most recently involving his time as the head of the Luxembourg’s government and as its finance minister, Deutsche Welle reported.
Investigative journalists alleged that Luxembourg had granted tax break worth billions of euros to hundreds of top companies, including Apple, IKEA and Pepsi.
Although Juncker has denied any wrongdoing, critics raised questions about the appropriateness of his holding one of the most powerful offices in the EU.
The no confidence motion made reference to the so-called Luxleaks scandal: “It is intolerable that a person who has been responsible for aggressive tax avoidance policies should serve as President of the European Commission,” the signatories said, DW reported.