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Santer, Jacques

"The right man in the right place at the right time," as he was called by British Prime Minister John Major, or the lowest common denominator, as others said of him, Jacques Santer came to the presidency of the European Commission as a compromise choice. He was selected for a five-year term by the European Council, the heads of government of the 12 member nations of the European Union (EU), at a special meeting on July 15, 1994, and confirmed by a majority of only 22 votes in the 567-seat European Parliament one week later. Santer was drafted after Major had vetoed the selection of Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, whose candidacy had been advanced by France and Germany.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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