The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker revealed his vision of a European Union in full integration. In his speech about the State of the EU 2017, Juncker called to speed up the EU integration. His speech at the European Parliament lasted more than one hour.
Below some quotes and key proposals:
Europe was battered and bruised by a year that shook our very foundation.
We only had two choices. Either come together around a positive European agenda or each retreat into our own corners.
There is a ‘window of opportunity’ to build a stronger, more united union.
The wind is back in Europe’s sails.
We now have a window of opportunity but it will not stay open forever.
Let us make the most of the momentum, catch the wind in our sails.
Now is the time to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe for 2025.
We set out to complete an Energy Union, a Security Union, a Capital Markets Union, a Banking Union and a Digital Single Market. Together, we have already come a long way.
Firstly, I want us to strengthen our European trade agenda, open trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.
Juncker’s vision of a A MORE UNITED UNION
If we want to strengthen the protection of our external borders, then we need to open the Schengen area of free movement to Bulgaria and Romania immediately. We should also allow Croatia to become a full Schengen member once it meets all the criteria.
If we want the euro to unite rather than divide our continent, then it should be more than the currency of a select group of countries. The euro is meant to be the single currency of the European Union as a whole. All but two of our Member States are required and entitled to join the euro once they fulfil all conditions.
Member States that want to join the euro must be able to do so. This is why I am proposing to create a Euro-accession Instrument, offering technical and even financial assistance.
If we want banks to operate under the same rules and under the same supervision across our continent, then we should encourage all Member States to join the Banking Union.
We need a European Minister of Economy and Finance, who must be accountable to the European Parliament.
Europe would function better if we were to merge the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council. Having a single President would better reflect the true nature of our European Union as both a Union of States and a Union of citizens.
Brexit is a very sad moment in Europe’s history. The European union will regret it, but so too will the UK.
Accession candidates must give the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights utmost priority.
This rules out EU membership for Turkey for the foreseeable future.
Turkey has been taking giant strides away from the European Union for some time.
PS Much too much integration, for my taste. Especially when Brussels keeps on ignoring realities in its member states, does not take into consideration the citizens’ needs and has proven several times it cannot solve crises and has allowed one member to rule over the monetary union. More integration with this mindset? No, thanks!