European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker State of the Union Address 14 September 2016

posted in: Europe, Notes | 0

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-16-3043_en.htm

An existential crisis is engulfing Europe

“Our European Union is, at least in part, in an existential crisis… I have witnessed several decades of EU integration. There were many strong moments. Of course, there were many difficult times too, and times of crisis.But never before have I seen such little common ground between our Member States. So few areas where they agree to work together.”

The challenges are many

“…we should admit that we have many unresolved problems in Europe. There can be no doubt about this. From high unemployment and social inequality, to mountains of public debt, to the huge challenge of integrating refugees, to the very real threats to our security at home and abroad – every one of Europe’s Member States has been affected by the continuing crises of our times. We are even faced with the unhappy prospect of a member leaving our ranks”

Action is needed more than mere words

“…we should be aware that the world is watching us. I just came back from the G20 meeting in China. Europe occupies 7 chairs at the table of this important global gathering. Despite our big presence, there were more questions than we had common answers to…I know that you here in this House would be only too willing to give clear answers to these questions. But we need our words to be followed by joint action. Otherwise, they will be just that: words. And with words alone, you cannot shape international affairs.”

European banks are doing better

“European banks are in much better shape than two years ago, thanks to our joint European efforts. Europe needs its banks. But an economy almost entirely dependent on bank credit is bad for financial stability. It is also bad for business, as we saw during the financial crisis. That is why it is now urgent we accelerate our work on the Capital Markets Union.”