Profile picture
Nick Gutteridge @nick_gutteridge
, 23 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1/? Here we go then, Jean-Claude Juncker's (probably) last ever State of the Union speech. Last year's caused quite a stir. Will J-C look to go out with a bang? Expecting big forays on migration, Rule of Law, foreign & defence policy, & probably a small mention of Brexit. #SOTEU
Juncker unsurprisingly starts out by talking up the current strengths of the EU economy. He points out there are a record 239 million people in work across Europe and youth unemployment stands at 14.8%. Adds: 'That figure is still too high but it's the lowest figure since 2000.'
Juncker says he's proud to have helped Greece stay in the eurozone despite the 'painful years' that caused, and adds: 'I pay homage to the Herculean efforts of the Greek people, an effort that others in Europe still haven't acknowledged sufficiently.'
Juncker says the trade agreements his Commission has sought around the world are 'often called into question wrongly'. He says pooled sovereignty means he can go to trading partners and defend the interests of 'an open continent but not one that we'll hand over'.
Juncker, onto Syria, mentions the disaster in Idlib: 'We cannot remain silent in the face of an impending humanitarian disaster which is a disaster foretold. The Syrian conflict shows us how the international order has been increasingly called into question.'
Leading on from that, a pretty open reference to Trump: 'Europe can no longer be assured that the commitments entered into in the past will still be respected in the future. Yesterday's alliances may no longer be tomorrow's alliances. Today's world needs a strong united Europe.'
On his ambitious defence plans, Juncker insists: 'We will not be militarising the EU what we're seeking is greater responsibility and independence because only a strong, united Europe will be in a position to defend our citizens from internal and external threats.'
A message for Britain here on Galileo? 'No single member state would've been able to launch the satellites that 400m users around the world are already benefitting from. No member state could've done that on its own. Galileo is a success story, but only a European success story.'
Juncker raises EU voters' disillusionment ahead of next year's EP elections. Says EU must 'get across the evidence to our citizens that when we act together the EU can achieve results'. Proposes new single use plastics ban and ending Daylight Saving Time will achieve this.
Juncker has a pop at (some) Member States for not implementing its policies on migration: 'I won't allow in future that the Commission is made the sole scapegoat. Scapegoats exist in all institutions, the least of them in the Commission and the Parliament.'
Quickfire double proposal from Juncker. 1st on cross-border crime beefed up powers for EPPO. 'We must be able to prosecute terrorists across border. Terrorists don't know any borders. We're proposing new measures today so we can act on money laundering in a cross-border manner.'
2nd on electoral manipulation (here's look at you, Vlad): 'The Commission is proposing new rules to protect electoral processes against manipulation from third countries and huge private interests.'
Juncker says EU needs 'proper balanced solutions' to policing its external borders: 'Every new ship, we can't be talking every time about ad hoc solutions from the people on board. We need more solidarity and solidarity must be lasting and organised.'
Juncker: 'We're making a proposal for the return of illegal migrants. I repeat my call to open legal routes for migration into Europe. We need qualified migrants. The Commission proposals on this have been on the table for some time so please implement them.'
Juncker says he's proposing 'a new alliance between Europe and Africa, an alliance for investment and sustainable jobs'. He says this will create 10 million jobs in Africa over the next five years.
🚨BREXIT KLAXON 🚨 Juncker puts Chequers economic plan to the sword: 'We ask UK to understand someone who leaves EU can't be in same privileged position as a member state. If you leave EU you're of course no longer part of our Single Market & certainly not only in parts of it.'
Juncker says: 'We agree with the statement made in Chequers that the starting point for such a partnership should be a free trade area between the UK and the EU.' Warning: The EU and UK have *very* different ideas about what a 'free trade area' actually entails.
Juncker's statement on Brexit. He bristles at suggestions the Commission are being hardliners standing in the way of the UK and Member States sealing a deal. He trashes the economic part of Chequers and puts the blame squarely on the UK for the Irish border and risk of no deal.
Juncker gets two big rounds of applause by proposing to do away with the requirement for unanimity of Member States in the areas of foreign policy and taxation, allowing the EU to legislate by QMV. Neither has a hope in hell of getting past national capitals, you'd have thought.
Juncker thanks MEPs for applauding sections of his speech because 'that gives me an opportunity to drink'. Some laugh in a nod to J-C's long rumoured fondness for alcohol. To be fair he takes it in good humour and grins along with them.
Clear message to Hungary: 'Commission will resist any attack on Rule of Law & we continue to be very concerned by developments in some of our Member States. Article 7 must be applied whenever the rule of law is threatened.' MEPs, expected to vote for A7 trigger later, lap it up.
Juncker: 'Europe can no longer be a spectator or a mere commentator of international events. Europe must be an active player and must become an architect of tomorrow's world. Europe's diplomacy must be conducted in the singular.'
Juncker ends with a plea against nationalism: 'To love Europe is to love its nations, to love your nation is to love Europe. Patriotism is a virtue, unchecked nationalism is both riddled with poison and deceit. We must remain true to ourselves.'
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Nick Gutteridge
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!