European Commission: Barroso bows ahead of vote on Juncker's new team

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European Commission: Barroso bows ahead of vote on Juncker's new team

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The next European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker is set to be confirmed by the European Parliament on Wednesday (October 22).

The vote by MEPs will take place in Strasbourg after the last two candidates completed their parliamentary hearings.

Slovenia’s Violeta Bulc and Slovakia’s Maros Sefcovic join the rest of Juncker’s nominees.

A last-minute reshuffle was needed after the resignation of former Slovenian prime minister Alenka Bratusek.

It comes after Jose Manuel Barroso gave his last speech to MEPs as Commission president.

But it was far from a full house as he lauded the EU’s response to the the eurozone crisis.

“We were in fact very close to default, i mean with a less polite word: to the bankruptcy of some of our member states. And look where we are now: Portugal and Ireland exited the program, successfully. Ireland is now one of the fastest-growing countries in Europe.”

The former Portuguese prime minister, who took his country into the US-led Iraq War, is set to stand down at the end of October.

The Juncker commission opens a new chapter and closes another, our correspondent Margherita Sforza says.

She adds that after 10 years in the job, José Manuel Barroso leaves a controversial legacy.

To his centre-right allies, he was a solid custodian of the EU executive during a time of crisis.

But left-wing parliamentarians say he was too ‘pro-free-market’ and didn’t do enough to protect Europe’s so-called ‘social model’.