In his “State of the Union” speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Jean- Claude Juncker unveiled an ambitious program aimed at putting the EU back on track after Brexit and other recent challenges.
The commission president wants more EU on banks and the economy and transparency on trade.
He also openly ruled out any chance of enlargement to include Turkey, but wants Romania and Bulgaria to be included in Schengen as soon as possible.
“To be part of a union which is based on the rule of law includes accepting final court decisions and respecting them.”
Juncker praised the EU for its management of the migrant situation.
He wants steps taken to deal with those who do not need to be protected.
“At the end of the month, the commission will present a new series of propositions centred on returns, solidarity with North Africa and the opening of legal migration routes. Concerning returns, I would like to repeat that people who have no right to stay in Europe must return to their countries of origin.”
Talking finance, Juncker said plans are afoot for a finance minister for the eurozone.
“The European economics and finance minister shall coordinate all financial instruments at the EU’s disposal which have to be brought into play if a member state is in recession or faced with a fundamental crisis.”
The Commission president said member states would be sad to see the EU leave – but warned UK citizens that they will come to regret their decision.
“We must respect the will of the British people, but we will move on, we will move on because Brexit is not the end, Brexit is not the future of Europe.”