During his fourth and last speech of the State of the Union, European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker, proposed a new alliance based on investment and jobs sustainability between Africa and Europe to assist in the creation of 10 million new jobs in Africa in the next five years.
In a speech before European Parliament deputies, Juncker presented the initiative together with 17 others with the aim of demonstrating the concrete commitment of the European Union on the most issues affecting European citizens, before the EP elections next May. He singled out the priorities of the Union for the next twelve months and the vision of how the EU may continue to develop in a more united, strong and democratic Union, which was the theme of this year’s speech.
A major part of the speech was on migration, with the EC President announcing the Commission’s plan so that by 2020, it will add 10,000 other officers who guard borders of countries on land and sea. Juncker stated that this does not mean that Europe becomes more military, however it is an attempt to end the disagreement between some countries including the responsibility of the rescued migrants. He called for more solidarity, instead of hasty solutions, for persons rescued by vessels.
Jean Claude Juncker expressed the hope that an unanimous agreement is reached on the next EU budget for 2021-2017, before the European elections while recommending that the euro coin is used in a more strategic way and showed his frustration that some European countries make purchases of European aircraft with the dollar instead of the euro.
The EC Commissions President once again called for more decisions between governments to be taken with a qualified majority instead of unanimously. On Brexit, he recalled on its repercussions. “Someone who leaves the union cannot be in the same privileged position as a member state,” Juncker stressed.
In his speech, Juncker stated that no one can ignore peace achievement as something long lasting and called for more respect towards the European Unon. He also referred to the importance of the rule of law and the work by journalists in a democracy.
The initiatives and proposals announced by the European Commission’s President will now be under discussion in various EU fora, including in the European Council informal meeting in Austria next week.
See here Juncker’s whole speech: