1. ITV Report

Who is the man chosen to lead the European Commission?

Jean-Claude Juncker was prime minister of Luxembourg for 19 years. Photo: PA

Few European citizens would be able to pick him out in a line-up, but Jean-Claude Juncker has been a significant player in the continent's politics for a generation.

Mr Juncker served nearly 19 years as prime minister of Luxembourg and was one of the architects of the euro, before finally being ejected last December.

So it is hardly surprising that he is regarded in many quarters - although not by David Cameron - as a natural choice to become the next president of the European Commission.

Angela Merkel was among the EU leaders that voted for Juncker as President. Credit: PA

The 59-year-old is seen as slightly to the political left of the European centre-right mainstream.

The son of a Luxembourg steel worker, Mr Juncker went on to study law and get his first ministerial job at just 29.

He has supported a minimum wage across the EU, but he is generally regarded as a pragmatic deal-maker rather than an out-and-out ideologue.

When the eurozone descended into crisis in 2008, it was Mr Juncker at the heart of efforts to ensure its survival, from Greece's bail-out to forging a banking union across member states.

Jean-Claude Juncker is said to be a heavy smoker and drinker. Credit: PA

His nomination for the top job revived questions about his lifestyle, notably his heavy smoking habit and his alcohol intake.

The drinking habits of a man widely reported to like "a cognac at breakfast" were raised as a concern among leaders during the diplomatic tussle, one diplomat said.

But neither those reported concerns, nor David Cameron's impassioned efforts to block his nomination, could stop Europe's leader voting overwhelmingly in Juncker's favour in Brussels.

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