EU chief Juncker criticises 'way of life' title for new commissioner
EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday weighed into a growing row over the title given to the bloc's new commissioner in charge of migration, who has been charged with "Protecting our European Way of Life".
"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," Juncker told Euronews.
Incoming commission president Ursula von der Leyen is under increasing pressure to change the title given to Greece's Margaritis Schinas, with European lawmakers, some EU member states and rights groups saying it echoes the xenophobic rhetoric used by far-right groups.
The pressure is especially acute from the European Parliament, which has yet to approve von der Leyen's choices in confirmation hearings which start at the end of the month.
So far, her team has defended the title, saying it was set out in political papers months ago and Schinas's portfolio oversees not only migration but also education, integration and cross-border security.