12 September 2018
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his State of the Union address this morning in Strasbourg.
Commenting on the speech, European Green Party co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer said:
"Those who had hoped or feared that Juncker would try to reinvent the EU were mistaken. Juncker certainly presented some headline-grabbing initiatives, such as the "European-African Pact for Sustainable Investment" and proposed new measures to reinforce existing European policies.
"But above all, he underlined the need not only to draw up plans, but also to implement them for citizens. That was the right line to take.
“Juncker expressed frustration over divisions within the EU as a barrier to progress. His commitment to Europe as the "love of my life" was credible, and his distinction between "enlightened patriotism" and "poisonous nationalism" was crystal clear.
“Nevertheless, Juncker was unable to explain how the necessary push for a better Europe, that he would want to see, should come about. The concept of a "Europe that protects its citizens" is too limited. Europe can only protect its citizens, if it strengthens them. Only Europeans themselves can build the Europe of tomorrow.
“Anyone who does not want to see the opponents of Europe, the authoritarians and the populists win next May, must understand how to inspire Europe's citizens to get involved.”
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