The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, delivered today his State of the Union speech before the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
Juncker talked Brexit, refugees, the euro, all of which are prone to spark controversy in parliament and, of course, online.
Here’s a quick summary of how Twitter and Google users reacted to Juncker’s one-hour speech.
During the speech, European users searched for different political issues alongside Juncker’s name.
This map shows the top themes searched by country.
The most popular search was “Brexit”, hitting top marks in Sweden, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Bulgaria.
Interestingly enough, the Brits were most interested in looking up “taxes” during Juncker’s speech, as were the Dutch, the Portuguese and the Danes.
Germany and Poland were keen to know more about the “economy” whilst, on a similar note, France and Belgium searched for “employment” and Croatia for “unemployment”.
Italians were looking up “eurozone”. This is not a surprise since Italy’s main opposition parties are calling for a new currency to flank the euro.
“Refugees” were the main concern in Finland, while “health” was the top hit in Spain and “education” was the most popular search in Austria.
On Twitter, MEPs and citizens came together to comment on the speech.
Some users liked the issues Juncker aims to tackle.
Great that #Juncker mentions #ClimateChange in #SOTEU address. Now it is time to act, for young people and future generations!
Youth_Forum</a> <a href="https://t.co/G8nCX50ALh">pic.twitter.com/G8nCX50ALh</a></p>— Sebastiaan Rood (BasRood) September 13, 2017
#SOTEU juncker promises that EU will help tackle awful conditions of migrants in Libyan camps— Linda McAvan MEP (@LindaMcAvanMEP) September 13, 2017
StylianidesEU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/eu_eeas">eu_eeas . Good . It’s urgent
The Italian PM thanked Juncker for praising Italy’s efforts on immigration.
(Thank you to @JunckerEU for his words on immigration and for raising the European profile on his speech).
But this Spanish activist found Juncker’s speech slightly ambiguous.
“Hay que intensificar deportaciones” afirma Juncker, y un minuto antes ha dicho “Europa es el continente de la solidaridad”. Tremendo #SOTEU— Marina Albiol Guzmán (@MarinaAlbiol) September 13, 2017
(“We must intensify deportations”, says Juncker, one minute after having said “Europe is the continent of solidarity”. Terrific.)
And so did this MEP from Germany.
MEP (@HansOlafHenkel) September 13, 2017
They weren’t the only ones to feel confused about what the president of the European Commission was saying. Actually, his comments on cybersecurity sparked some cynical reactions.
JunckerEU</a> Proposes a new EU cyber agency &on immigration he believes EU has made progress on protecting its borders! Sure Barcelona agrees</p>— Steven Woolfe MEP (Steven_Woolfe) September 13, 2017
When it comes to Juncker’s view that all EU states should join the euro, Twitter was also divided.
Some thought it was a daring proposal…
Unthinkable only a year ago:
JunckerEU</a> calls for Euro and Schengen for all member states of EU. Ambitious. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SOTEU?src=hash">#SOTEU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Juncker?src=hash">#Juncker</a> <a href="https://t.co/ESUHtBmXWL">pic.twitter.com/ESUHtBmXWL</a></p>— Maximilian Hofmann (maxhofmann) September 13, 2017
Others were a bit sceptical…
… and thought it was a good thing the UK opted out.
Juncker thinks EU “bigger,more powerful,one president,all using the Euro” are reasons against #Brexit;I’d say they’re the exact reasons for.— andy m (@bigajm) September 13, 2017
Speaking of which, as expected, the UK had a lot to say on Juncker’s address.
So basically this is a full-on call from Juncker to speed up EU integration. I am so pleased we are leaving. #SOTEU— Patrick O’Flynn (@oflynnmep) September 13, 2017
Anyone who can’t comprehend how the EU is turning into a federal Europe, should study
JunckerEU</a> 's speech today. We're leaving just in time</p>— James Carver MEP (JamesJimCarver) September 13, 2017
Some were on the same page as Juncker and said Brexit wouldn’t spoil the party.
But this MEP seemed to think the mood was long gone.
The clapping at the #European Parliament as they listen to Jean Claude Juncker reminds me of scenes from North Korean party conferences— Diane James (@DianeJamesMEP) September 13, 2017
And while some thought Juncker spoke too much….
Over 160 minutes of debate on the future of the EU. Not one Irish MEP got to speak.
JunckerEU</a> spoke for nearly 70 minutes. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HeartOfEurope?src=hash">#HeartOfEurope</a></p>— Luke 'Ming' Flanagan (lukeming) September 13, 2017
Others thought he kept too much to himself.
Today, three YouTubers will interview President Juncker. If you have anything you’d like to ask him, send us your question using #AskJunker and join us at 14:00 CEST.