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Following Juncker's graduation from the University of Strasbourg, he was appointed as a University of Strasbourg, he was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary. He later won election to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time in 1984 and was immediately appointed to the Cabinet of Prime Minister Jacques Santer as Minister of Labour.[14] In the second half of 1985, Luxembourg held the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Communities, permitting Juncker to develop his European leadership qualities as chair of the Social Affairs and Budget Councils.[14] It was here that Juncker's pro-Europe credentials first emerged.[14]

Shortly before the 1989 election Juncker was seriously injured in a road accident, spending two weeks in a coma.[14] He has stated that the accident has caused him difficulty with balancing since.[15] He nonetheless recovered in time to be returned to the Chamber of Deputies once more, after which he was promoted to become Minister for Finance, a post traditionally seen as a rite of passage to the premiership of the country. His eventual promotion to Prime Minister seemed at this time inevitable, with political commentators concluding that Santer was grooming Juncker as his successor. Juncker at this time also accepted the position of Luxembourg's representative on the 188-member Board of Governors of the World Bank.[14]

Juncker's second election to Parliament, in 1989, saw him gain prominence within the European Union; Juncker chaired the Council of Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN), during Luxembourg's 1991 presidency of the Council of the European Communities, becoming a key architect of the Maastricht Treaty.[14] Juncker was largely responsible for clauses on Economic and Monetary Union, the process that would eventually give rise to the Euro, and in particular is credited with devising the "opt-out" principle for the UK to assuage its concerns.[14] Juncker was himself a signatory to the Treaty in 1992, having, by that time taken over as parliamentary leader of the Christian Social People's Party.[14]

Juncker was re-elected to the Chamber in 1994, maintaining his ministerial role. With Santer ready to be nominated as the next President of the European Commission, it was only six months later that Grand Duke Jean approved the appointment of Juncker as Prime Minister on 20 January 1995, as part of a coalition with the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Part

Shortly before the 1989 election Juncker was seriously injured in a road accident, spending two weeks in a coma.[14] He has stated that the accident has caused him difficulty with balancing since.[15] He nonetheless recovered in time to be returned to the Chamber of Deputies once more, after which he was promoted to become Minister for Finance, a post traditionally seen as a rite of passage to the premiership of the country. His eventual promotion to Prime Minister seemed at this time inevitable, with political commentators concluding that Santer was grooming Juncker as his successor. Juncker at this time also accepted the position of Luxembourg's representative on the 188-member Board of Governors of the World Bank.[14]

Juncker's second election to Parliament, in 1989, saw him gain prominence within the European Union; Juncker chaired the Council of Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN), during Luxembourg's 1991 presidency of the Council of the European Communities, becoming a key architect of the Maastricht Treaty.[14] Juncker was largely responsible for clauses on Economic and Monetary Union, the process that would eventually give rise to the Euro, and in particular is credited with devising the "opt-out" principle for the UK to assuage its concerns.[14] Juncker was himself a signatory to the Treaty in 1992, having, by that time taken over as parliamentary leader of the Christian Social People's Party.[14]

Juncker was re-elected to the Chamber in 1994, maintaining his ministerial role. With Santer ready to be nominated as the next President of the European Commission, it was only six months later that Grand Duke Jean approved the appointment of Juncker as Prime Minister on 20 January 1995, as part of a coalition with the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party. Juncker relinquished his post at the World Bank at this time, but maintained his position as Minister for Finance.[14]

Juncker's first term as Prime Minister was focused on an economic platform of international bilateral ties to improve Luxembourg's profile abroad, which included a number of official visits abroad. During one such visit, to Dublin in December 1996, Juncker successfully mediated a dispute over his own EU Economic and Monetary Union policy between French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The press dubbed Juncker the "Hero of Dublin" for achieving an unlikely consensus between the two.[16]

1997 brought the rotating Presidency of the European Council to Luxembourg, during which time Juncker championed the cause of social integration in Europe, along with constituting the so-called "Luxembourg Process" for integrated European policy against unemployment. He also instigated the "Euro 11", an informal group of European finance ministers for matters regarding his Economic and Monetary Union ideals. For all of these initiatives, he was honoured with the Vision for Europe Award in 1998.[17]

Juncker succeeded in winning another term as Prime Minister in the 1999 election, although the coalition with the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party was broken in favour of one with the Democratic Party. After the 2004 election, the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party became the second largest par

1997 brought the rotating Presidency of the European Council to Luxembourg, during which time Juncker championed the cause of social integration in Europe, along with constituting the so-called "Luxembourg Process" for integrated European policy against unemployment. He also instigated the "Euro 11", an informal group of European finance ministers for matters regarding his Economic and Monetary Union ideals. For all of these initiatives, he was honoured with the Vision for Europe Award in 1998.[17]

Juncker succeeded in winning another term as Prime Minister in the 1999 election, although the coalition with the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party was broken in favour of one with the Democratic Party. After the 2004 election, the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party became the second largest party again, and Juncker again formed a coalition with them.[14]

In 2005, Juncker inherited a second term as President of the European Council. Shortly after the expiration of his term came Luxembourg's referendum on ratification, and Juncker staked his political career on its success, promising to resign if the referendum failed. The final result was a 56.5% Yes vote on an 88% turnout. His continued allegiance to European ideals earned him the 2006 Karlspreis. In 2009, he denounced the lifting of the excommunication of controversial Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of the Society of Saint Pius X.[18]

Juncker supported the 2011 military intervention in Libya. Juncker added that he wanted NATO to take control of coalition military efforts in Libya as soon as possible.[19]

On 19 November 2012, RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg aired a story alleging that the former head of the State Intelligence Service (SREL), Marco Mille, had used a wristwatch to covertly record a confidential conversation with Juncker in 2008.[20][21] According to the report, although Juncker had later found out about the recording, he took no action against Mille and allowed him to leave the service in 2010 for a position with Siemens.[20][22] A transcript of the conversation was published by D'Lëtzebuerger Land, which highlighted the disorganised state of the secret

On 19 November 2012, RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg aired a story alleging that the former head of the State Intelligence Service (SREL), Marco Mille, had used a wristwatch to covertly record a confidential conversation with Juncker in 2008.[20][21] According to the report, although Juncker had later found out about the recording, he took no action against Mille and allowed him to leave the service in 2010 for a position with Siemens.[20][22] A transcript of the conversation was published by D'Lëtzebuerger Land, which highlighted the disorganised state of the secret service, mentioned links between Grand Duke Henri and MI6 and referred to the "Bommeleeër" scandal.[23][24] On 4 December 2012, the Chamber of Deputies voted to set up a Parliamentary Inquiry into allegations of SREL misconduct including the illegal bugging of politicians, purchase of cars for private use and allegations of taking payments and favours in exchange for access to officials.[25][26] The inquiry heard from witnesses who claimed that SREL had conducted six or seven illegal wiretapping operations between 2007 and 2009, as well as covert operations in Iraq, Cuba and Libya.[27][28] The report concluded that Juncker had to bear political responsibility for SREL's activities, that he had been deficient in his control over the service and that he had failed to report all of the service's irregularities to the enquiry commission.[26][29] Juncker himself denied wrongdoing.[30]

After a seven-hour debate in the Chamber of Deputies on 10 July, the withdrawal of support from the Christian Social People's Party's coalition partner, the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP), forced Juncker to agree to new elections.[31] Alex Bodry, President of LSAP and Chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into SREL, declared his lack of confidence in Juncker, saying: "We invite the prime minister to take full political responsibility in this context and ask the government to intervene with the head of state to clear the path for new elections."[30] Juncker tendered his resignation to the Grand Duke on 11 July.[26] After the election, Juncker was succeeded on 4 December 2013 by Xavier Bettel.[32]

In 2004, the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers decided to replace the rotating chairmanship with a permanent president. Juncker was appointed as the first permanent president and assumed the chair on 1 January 2005. He was re-appointed for a second term in September 2006.[33] Under the Lisbon Treaty, this system was formalised and Juncker was confirmed for another term.[34] Juncker stepped down on 21 January 2013, when he was succeeded by Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.[35]

[36]

Juncker was also an outspoken proponent of enhanced internal co-operation and increased international representation of the group.[37]

In a debate in 2011, during the height of the eurozone crisis, Juncker responded to a conference-goer's suggestion to increase the openness of the strategy discussions in the eurogroup, by stating: "When it becomes serious you have to lie".[38] Scholars of financial markets have remarked that the quote is often taken out of context by critics; best practice amongst monetary policy committees in most states is to keep negotiations on decisions confidential to prevent markets from betting against troubled countries until they are finalised. This need is complicated by the Eurozone's arrangements, in which policy negotiations are held in high-profile international summits of eurozone finance ministers, where leaks of ongoing negotiations may potentially put "millions of people at risk".[38] Indeed, the quote continues;