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State of the Union address: Juncker, “we will keep working to render this imperfect Union” more perfect “with each passing day”

Strasburgo, 12 settembre: Juncker pronuncia il Discorso sullo stato dell'Unione

(Strasbourg) “United we stand taller” – this is “the very essence” of the European Union. In his State of the Union address, Jean-Claude Juncker recalled the founding principles of the EU, from peace to solidarity, from economic development to political leadership on the global stage. He generally kept a low profile: “This Commission is merely a chapter – he said -, a brief moment in the long history of the European Union”. This is why we do not take stock of the achievements made so far, even because “we will keep working to render this imperfect Union that little bit more perfect with each passing day”. “Modesty and hard work” – this is the motto chosen by Juncker – “this is what is on our agenda for the months to come”. Then a warning against populist movements: “Let us show the European Union a bit more respect. Let us stop dragging its name through the mud”. “We should embrace the kind of patriotism that is never against others. We should reject the kind of nationalism that destroys, that points the finger at others instead of searching for ways to better live together”. The President of the Commission then set the priorities for the European agenda in the coming months, ahead of the summit in Sibiu on 9 May and the elections, particularly in the areas of trade and the economy, of defence and migration, border control, the fight against terrorism, and development in Africa. The economic crisis that came to us from the US 10 years ago is over, – he said – but we need to strengthen employment and the social pillar of the Union.
He then reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to enlargement for the Balkan region, mentioned the US protectionist policy, and drew attention to the critical humanitarian, political and military situation in Syria and other unstable regions of the world. As for migration, he called for shared responsibility: “I am and will remain strictly opposed to internal borders. Where borders have been reinstated, they must be removed. Failure to do so would amount to an unacceptable step back for the Europe of today and tomorrow”.

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