Jean-Claude Juncker handed over the head of the European Commission to Ursula von der Leyen in December 2019. The former German minister and longtime ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel is the first woman to lead the bloc’s powerful executive. Some of his main responsibilities include promising new EU laws, enforcing the bloc’s rules and managing trade deals.
Part of his role will be to get Brexit done when trade talks with the UK begin in March.
In an interview with Express.co.uk, Italian MEP Antonio Maria Rinaldi has already given a stark assessment of the bloc under the German politician.
He said: “I think von der Leyen is Juncker 2.0. They share a promise that I don’t think they will both be able to deliver.
“To get elected, Juncker launched the famous investment program of 300 billion euros.
“Then I think it became 315 billion euros.
“He only did this to get people to elect him. Now von der Leyen has come up with the ‘green deal’.
“She’s not going to achieve what she wants, let me tell you, and it will be a total failure. What I would do is different.
“I recognize that we have to do something about climate change.
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“Many countries have now realized that this growing German influence is not a good thing.
“Here, we say ‘we have to share the rules and the laws’.
“But if these regulations are most often written for the use and consumption of three countries, primarily Germany, then they are not shared.
“They are taxed and that is not a good thing.”
Mr Rinaldi added: “I don’t think Italexit is necessary because if Brussels continues like this then it will collapse on its own.
” There is nothing to do. We are here watching from the touchline.