EU PARLIAMENT: JUNCKER, "COMMON CURRENCY DOES NOT DIVIDE, BUT PROTECTS EUROPE"

(Sir Europe – Strasbourg) – "The common currency does not divide Europe but protects it together with its economy and citizens". This is the passage that generated the greatest consensus but also criticism in the address by the candidate for Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who spoke at the EP in Strasbourg ahead of the MEPs’ vote which will begin around noon. In his long, passionate and pro-European speech, the Luxembourgian MEP recalled the roots of integration and the absolute value of peace: "What would Europe be like now, had we not built the European Community?". Juncker called on MEPs to abandon nationalism and singled out three "great Europeans" as "role models" for their "patience, courage and determination": Delors, Mitterrand and Kohl. "On 25 May, citizens have spoken, they have told us about their expectations and their concerns". Now "we have to respond" to them with "facts": "Let us refrain from sterile ideological discourse. Let us use pragmatism as a method. We should deliver concrete results for all citizens". "We will be European actors. I want the Commission to be political, more political" and independent from the European Council – and thus from Member States -, as well as from the Parliament. However, Juncker seeks close collaboration with the European Parliament: "Europe – he added – is not built against its States, but with its States".

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