Jean-Claude Juncker Biography

(21st Prime Minister of Luxembourg (1995-2013) and 12th President of the European Commission (2014-2019))

Birthday: December 9, 1954 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Redange, Luxembourg

Jean-Claude Juncker is a Luxembourgian politician currently serving as the President of the European Commission. Prior to assuming this office, he had served as the Prime Minister of Luxembourg for eighteen years. Born in Redange, Luxembourg, he studied at the University of Strasbourg and got a postgraduate degree in law. He was also sworn into the Luxembourg Bar Council in 1980; however, he never practiced law. Shortly after he left university, his political career began as he was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary. He won the election to the Chamber of Deputies, where he was appointed to the Cabinet of the Prime Minister as the Minister of Labor. He was soon promoted to the Minister of Finance. He was also offered a position as a member of the board of Governors at the World Bank. He was appointed the Prime Minister of Luxembourg on 20th January 1995, after which he left his post at the World Bank, but continued as the Minister of Finance. He served as the prime minister till 2013. Since 2014, he has been serving as the President of the European Commission despite his involvement in multiple controversies.
Quick Facts

Age: 68 Years, 68 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Christiane Frising (m. 1979)

father: Joseph Juncker

mother: Marguerite Juncker

Prime Ministers Political Leaders

Notable Alumni: Lycée Michel Rodange, University Of Strasbourg

More Facts

education: University Of Strasbourg, Lycée Michel Rodange

Childhood & Early Life
Jean-Claude Juncker was born on 9th December 1954 in Redange, Luxembourg, to Marguerite Juncker and Joseph Juncker. He was primarily raised in the southern part of the country.
At a young age, he became a member of the Christian Social People’s Party. After completing his schooling from a boarding school in Belgium, he joined the University of Strasbourg in France, from where he earned his master’s degree in law in 1979. The following year, he was sworn into the Luxembourg Bar Council.
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Shortly after his graduation, Jean-Claude Juncker was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary, which marked the beginning of his political career. In 1982, he received a government post, after being named the secretary of employment and social security. Two years later, he was elected to the legislature, and he became a member of Prime Minister Jacques Santer’s cabinet as the Labor Minister.
In 1989, he was appointed to the Board of Governors of the World Bank as Luxembourg's representative. His second election to the parliament helped him gain prominence within the European Union.
He became a key architect of the Maastricht Treaty (the Treaty on European Union). He was also responsible for the clauses on Economic and Monetary Union—a significant process that would eventually give rise to the Euro.
In 1994, he was re-elected to the chamber. As Prime Minister Santer was to be nominated as the next President of the European Commission, Grand Duke Jean approved the appointment of Juncker as the next Prime Minister of Luxembourg. Therefore, Juncker left his post at the World Bank but continued his position as the Finance Minister.
Juncker assumed office as the Prime Minister of Luxembourg on 20 January 1995. During his term, Juncker became known for accelerating the country’s economic performance, which helped Luxembourg reach one of the highest per capita GDPs in the World. He also made several official visits abroad to improve ties with other countries.
On a visit to Dublin, he managed to mediate a dispute over the EU Economic and Monetary Union policy between French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Juncker was dubbed ‘Hero of Dublin’ by the media for achieving the unlikely consensus.
In 1999, he won the general election and became the prime minister for a second term. In 2013, it was revealed that Luxembourg’s intelligence service was involved in several kinds of abuses, including bribery. They were also accused of spying on several political figures unauthorized. As his government collapsed, Juncker submitted his resignation to the Grand Duke on 11th July 2013. He was eventually succeeded by Xavier Bettel on 4thDecember.
Despite his involvement in several controversies, Juncker remained a prominent figure over the next years. In 2013, he helmed the Eurogroup, which was a body consisting of the finance ministers of all the euro zone countries. This role allowed him to shape the response to the sovereign debt crisis, which had led to the downfall of economies within the euro zone.
His contributions to Europe made him very popular and he was honored with awards, such as the ‘Vision for Europe Award’, ‘European of the Year’, ‘European Prize for Political Culture of the Hans Ringier Foundation’, and ‘Gold Medal of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe.’ In 2009, he became an Honorary Senator of the European Academy of Science and Arts.

When he was selected as the President of the European Commission, his nomination was supported by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, thought it was opposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Despite these oppositions, he was elected officially to the position by the European Parliament in July 2014.
After his appointment, he faced several challenges, including a pro-Russian insurgency in Ukraine and a sluggish economy in many European nations. There was also a sentiment across Europe that questioned the very purpose of the European Union.
Shortly after Jean-Claude Juncker became the head of the commission, it was alleged by the media that during his tenure as the prime minister, he had turned his nation into a European centre for corporate tax avoidance. With the aid of his government, companies used to transfer tax liability for billions of euros to Luxembourg, where income tax was levied at a rate lesser than 1%. Juncker however denied these claims.
He received much criticism because of his remarks on immigration. During the European Forum Alpbach, he said that borders are the worst invention made by politicians, supporting Angela Merkel’s open door stance to the European migrant crisis. .
Jean-Claude Junker has received honorary doctorates from many universities, including the University of Porto, the University of Athens, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Bologna.
He has received several international honors, such as ‘Knight of the Order des Arts et des Lettres’ (France), ‘Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor’ (France), ‘Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer’ (Greece), ‘Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of Christ’, ‘German Citizenship Prize’ and ‘The European Culture Prize’.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including ‘Vision for Europe Award’ (1998), ‘European of the Year’ (2005), ‘European Banker of the Year’ (2008), and ‘European Prize for Service Economics’ (2009).
Personal Life
Jean-Claude Junker has been married to Christiane Frising since 1979. The couple doesn’t have any children.

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