Be Brave, Juncker!  

JEB Position on the State of the Union Address

As the leaves turn brown, it’s once again time for the current President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to give the annual State of the Union Address. This year’s speech will be delivered to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 13 September 2017. In his speech, the President will touch upon two aspects: which concrete measures are to be put in place before the European elections in 2019, and vision of the future of the EU27. In Spring 2017, the Commission proposed five scenarios for the development of the EU post-Brexit. It did not, however, reveal its own position in relation to each of the possible paths. This might be rectified in the State of the Union Address. (For information on the JEB’s position on the Commission’s White Paper, see here).  

For JEB committee member Titus Lienen, the following aspects need to be pursued over the course of the next few years: “reforming the Dublin Regulation by introducing a lasting quota for the distribution of migrants; creating a defence union; extending the Spitzenkandidat system to the selection of Commission President; questions about digitalisation and much more…these are just some of the areas in which urgent action from the Commission is required. None of these issues can be solved at national level. That’s why each and every one of them has to be part of the European agenda.”

Alongside these issues, it is time for Juncker to reveal his own take on the five possible future scenarios for the EU that were published earlier this year. Sophia Simon, Chair of the Young European Movement Berlin-Brandenburg (JEB), explains that her organisation “already has a very clear position on the matter. It is only by pursuing the fifth scenario (an “ever-greater union”) that the European Union will be able to secure its future in the long-term.”

“No single EU member state, not even Germany, will still be part of the G7 if we don’t finally commit to working together to solve the really urgent questions of the next decade,” adds Lars Nichterlein, Deputy Chair of the JEB.

“Juncker has to use this opportunity to shape Europe in a sustainable way. It’s time for him to be brave and start actively fighting for a federal Europe, in the face of eurosceptic opposition,” concludes Sophia.

The State of the Union Address will be broadcast live from 9am on Wednesday 13 September on the European Parliament website: www.europarl.europa.eu.