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Europeans wait for Juncker's words on the State of the Union

brussels bureau

Europeans wait for Juncker's words on the State of the Union

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The head of the European Commission gave his first so-called State of the Union speech in September last year.

Jean-Claude Juncker has faced a turbulent time since taking office in November 2014.

The EU has been struggling to deal with a migration crisis, and the United Kingdom voted to leave the bloc altogether.

Manfred Weber, the Conservative group leader in the European Parliament urged Juncker to be brutally honest in his assessment, saying:

“Jean-Claude Juncker, as Commisison President, must describe the situation in the European Union in a frank way, that we have a lot of difficulties, a lot of problems inside the European Union. And that we have to find an outcome, out of this type of crisis. That means we need unity in the European Union.”

For Gianni Pittella, Italian MEP and centre-left group leader,
economic reform must be high on the agenda. She said:

“I want to hear a response on how we can reboot the economy and create jobs. But also to tackle fiscal inequality. We cannot allow the baker in Brussels to pay more taxes than an American multinational.”

For many observers Brexit has perhaps defined the last 12 months of the Commission’s focus. For Syed Kamall, a British conservative MEP, Juncker must recognise a message from across Europe that the Commission must reverse its federalist tendancies.

“Well it is quite clear that the referendum in Britain sent a strong signal, like other referendums before that, in terms of the EU has to change and it can not go as it is. I would hope very much that Juncker will recognise this in his state of the Union speech: Europe does less, but does it better rather than carrying on with this project Europe of further integration,” said Kamall.

And you can watch Jean Claude Juncker’s address at 09:00 Central European Time live on euronews.

On Thursday September 15, in partnership with Google, Euronews will be hosting three interviews by prominent YouTube stars from across Europe with Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. You can follow live from 11:00 CET on euronews.com and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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