Eurosceptics have united to table a bid to sack Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission over the Luxembourg tax scandal.
MEPs from Britain’s UK Indepedence Party, France’s National Front and Italy’s 5-Star Movement have put forward a vote of no confidence for next week.
Critics say their move is simply ‘grandstanding’ and called for a proper probe.
Juncker, whose new commission only began work at the start of November, has denied allegations he encouraged tax avoidance when he was Luxembourg’s prime minister.
A report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) alleges 340 global companies agreed deals during Juncker’s near two decades in office.
Eurosceptics in the European Parliament have now gathered enough signatures to put the no confidence vote on the agenda.
The motion reads: “It is intolerable that a person who has been responsible for aggressive tax avoidance policies serves as president of the European Commission.”
Eurosceptics garnered 76 signatures and met the 10 percent of MEPs threshold for putting the no confidence motion on the agenda. To succeed it requires a two-thirds majority in the 751-seat chamber.
Anti-EU parties gained a bigger voice in parliament at elections in May amid growing disillusionment with economic austerity.
Marco Zanni, MEP for Italy’s 5 Star Movement, said: “The LuxLeaks scandal shows that Commission President Juncker in his political life has always acted to enrich his country behind its European partners, in defiance of the Union and the community spirit he hopes to respresent.”
UKIPMEP Steven Woolfe said: “This motion of censure means there must now be a debate on the behaviour of President Juncker and a vote to remove the entire European Commission.
“UKIP promised at the beginning of this mandate to be ‘EU rebels with a cause’, to hold the Commission to account and this censure motion shows that we mean business. We now hope members of other groups will get behind us to censure the Commission. This motion certainly means MEPs will have an opportunity to show their true colours and let their voters know where they stand on the actions of President Juncker.”
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder said: “UKIP join with Front National to table no confidence on Juncker next week. Didn’t Farage say he wouldn’t get into bed with Le Pen?
“We need a proper investigation into Juncker tax allegations, not UKIP opportunistic grandstanding.”