Jean-Claude Juncker was one of the founding fathers of the euro, a pioneer of European unification, and Prime Minister of Luxembourg. After 18 years in office, he stepped down in December 2013, as the longest-serving head of government of any European Union state and one of the longest-serving democratically elected leaders in the world.
Widely renowned to be a highly skilful mediator within the European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker was President of the Eurogroup between 2005 and 2013 and President of the European Commission between 2014 and 2019.
Elected to Luxemburg’s Chamber of Deputies for the Christian Social People's Party in 1984, Jean-Claude Juncker was immediately promoted to Jacques Santer's cabinet as Minister for Work. He was Luxembourg's Minister for Finances from 1989 to 2009. Juncker was a key architect of the Maastricht Treaty, and was largely responsible for clauses on economic and monetary union. A highly skilled economist, he held the roles of Governor of the World Bank, and the IMF. He became Prime Minister in 1995, and served two six-month terms as President of the European Council, in 1997 and 2005.
In 2006, Jean-Claude Juncker was awarded the 'International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen for his contribution as an "engine and pioneer of European unification". At the ceremony, former German Chancellor Kohl, recognised him as an optimist who had never doubted the European cause. He has also won many other awards including "European of The Year" and "European Banker of the Year".
Nigel Farage is co-founder and long-serving leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). He was the face of the successful campaign to take the UK out of the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment.
Farage has been a Member of the European Parliament for South East England since 1999 and co-chairs the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group. He has been noted for his sometimes controversial speeches in the European Parliament and his strong criticism of the euro currency.
In September 2016, Farage stepped down as leader of UKIP after 15 years. Writing in The Spectator, the journalist Rod Liddle described Farage as ‘the most important British politician of the last decade and the most successful’. Farage has become the great “disruptor” of British and European politics and is widely consulted for his views on the changing nature of western politics. He was shortlisted for TIME Magazine’s 2016 Person of the Year, but was beaten by Donald Trump. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Spectator’s 2016 Awards. He has formed a close personal relationship with President Trump having spoken at his election rally in Mississippi. He was ranked second in The Daily Telegraph’s Top 100 most influential right-wingers poll in 2013, behind Prime Minister David Cameron, he was also named “Briton of the Year” by The Times in 2014.
In 2010, Farage published a memoir, entitled Fighting Bull (Flying Free), outlining the founding of UKIP and his personal and political life. A second book, The Purple Revolution: The Year That Changed Everything, was released in 2015.