#ECscoreboard: Vestager ranked best Commissioner and favourite to be next President in BCW survey

Date

19 Feb 2019

Sections

Public Affairs
Brussels, 19 February 2019
 
Margrethe Vestager is the best Commissioner on Jean-Claude Juncker’s team and should be the next President of the EU executive, according to a Europe-wide online survey unveiled today by public affairs and communications agency BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) and media partner EURACTIV.
 
The ‘European Commission 2014-2019 Scoreboard’ survey invited respondents to give their verdict on the performance of each individual Commissioner – ranking them from 0 to 10 – and taking account of their initial objectives. Competition chief Vestager, the only Commissioner to achieve a score above 50 percent (5.02/10), is also a strong favourite to take over the Presidency of the new Commission this autumn, despite not being an official party candidate for the job ahead of the European elections.
 
The Dane comes just ahead of Federica Mogherini, Vice-President and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, with 49.6 percent in the #ECscoreboard ranking, followed by Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President, with 46.9 percent and Cecilia Malmström, Trade Commissioner, with 44.7 percent. Jean-Claude Juncker, the Commission President, is the fifth highest ranked in the list, with a score of 44.4 percent.
 
At the other end of the scale is Tibor Navrascics, the face of the EU’s Erasmus+ programme and Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport: his performance is graded at 19 percent, just below Neven Mimica, the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, with 20.6 percent.
 
Respondents were also invited to rank the performance of former Commissioner Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, who earns an approval rating of 57 percent.
 
Nearly 1,800 stakeholders from Brussels and beyond took part in the survey, which was conducted online between 9 October and 3 December 2018.
 
Other headline findings from the 20-question survey:
  • Overall performance of the Juncker Commission: 46 percent
  • Should the next Commission President be a woman? Should be the best person for the job, regardless of gender, 74 percent; Should be a woman, 23 percent
  • Who should be the next President of the European Commission? Margrethe Vestager (20 percent), Alexander Stubb (7 percent), Frans Timmermans (6 percent), Michel Barnier (5 percent), Angela Merkel (5 percent), Manfred Weber (4 percent)
  • What should the next Cmmission’s top three priorities be? Environment and climate (38 percent), Make the EU more democratic (28 percent), Migration (24 percent)
  • How does the Juncker Commissioner compare with its predecessor: Better 41 percent; Worse 34 percent
  • How does the Juncker Commission compare with your national government? Better 42 percent, Worse 31 percent
  • Should the Commission President continue to be chosen reflecting the outcome of the European Parliament elections and ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process: Yes 44 percent, No 40 percent.
  • Did the Commission’s cluster system work? Yes, and it should be continued 23 percent, No, it should be dropped 32 percent
  • Is it time for an equal gender balance in the Commission? Yes 54 percent, No 28 percent
  • Is it time for more ethnic diversity in the Commission? Yes 49 percent, No 32 percent
  • Should the number of Commissioners be reduced in the next mandate? Yes 58 percent, No 29 percent
 
Nationals from all 28 Member States and further afield participated in the #ECscoreboard survey. The three largest countries by population (UK, France and Germany) accounted for the highest number of responses. Nearly 40 percent of the feedback for the survey came from respondents living in Belgium, at the heart of the EU and host of its major institutions.
 
Karen Massin, CEO BCW Brussels, commented: “We hope that you will find the findings fascinating – we certainly do. The results provide valuable insights from a wide range of actors and influencers, including business, officials, trade associations, media, NGOs, think tanks and academia. We hope that the findings will inform the next Commission’s mandate and set-up, as well as providing food for thought as the new European Parliament prepares for its hearings with Commissioners-designate.”
 
“Europeans dream of a continent that is more climate-friendly and socially just,” added Dan Luca, Senior Director at EURACTIV. “Climate policies at the EU level will be a central element of the next five-year agenda. The survey results confirm citizens' trust in the European institutions, but key issues, such as the Commission’s cluster system, gender balance in the Commission and the number of Commissioners, need to be addressed.”
 
 
About BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe)
BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) is one of the world’s largest full-service global communications agencies. Founded by the 2018 merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, BCW delivers digitally and data-driven creative content and integrated communications programs grounded in earned media and scaled across all channels for clients in the B2B, consumer, corporate, crisis management, CSR, healthcare, public affairs and technology sectors. BCW is a part of WPP (NYSE: WPP), a creative transformation company. For more information, please visit www.bcw-global.com
 
About EURACTIV
The findings from the #EUscoreboard survey were unveiled at the offices of media partner EURACTIV on 19 February 2019. Founded in 1999, EURACTIV is the only pro-European media network specialized in EU policies. It provides free, localised EU policy news in 12 languages, and reaches over 1.1 million users per month with its media partners across Europe and beyond. Its audience includes politicians, policymakers, business leaders, journalists, civil society, NGOs and other stakeholders across Europe. For more information, visit www.euractiv.com
 
Press contacts:
Dennis Abbott
BCW Brussels
Tel: +32 2 743 6651 /+32 498 959258
 
Noemi Szabo
EURACTIV
Tel: +32 2 788 3677 /+ 32 2 226 5810