Jean-Claude Juncker's state of the union speech to European Parliament - highlights

Lamar Ellis
September 14, 2018

The European Border and Coast Guard will recruit a standing corps of 10,000 operational staff by 2020, to facilitate more support for migrants on return and deliver stronger co-operation with non-EU countries, which is particularly vital at the European Union's external borders.

To love Europe is to love its nations. Brussels and the member states remained united and determined to resist British ideas they fear would let it keep some benefits of the European Union single market while avoiding the costs.

Jean-Claude Juncker struck a largely emollient tone on the subject of Brexit talks on Wednesday (12 September), which he said were being "masterfully handled by my friend Michel Barnier".

At the same time, he warned the other 27 member states remain united behind the commission's negotiating position and that the UK can not enjoy the same "privileged position" as a member state. "The EU is a community of law and respecting the rule of law and abiding by court decisions is not an option". I love Europe still and shall do so forever.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the climate action and energy commissioner, said in June that the European Union would begin the process of upping the bloc's existing goal to reduce emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels. Google and Facebook both said they have invested heavily in using artificial intelligence tools to flag potential terrorist content, and at times to remove it automatically-particularly in the case of content that had been previously removed.

On the one hand, European Union leaders are still preoccupied by the challenge of uncontrolled immigration and its political consequences.

Juncker highlighted the difference between enlightened patriotism and unhealthy nationalism.

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However, Aung San Suu Kyi said the reporters have the right to "appeal the judgment and to point out why the judgment was wrong". A United Nations human rights team report has recommended senior Burmese commanders be prosecuted for genocide and other crimes.

A European diplomat said in advance of the speech that Juncker knows it is a "critical" moment to prepare Europe for a world in which Trump's United States is an unpredictable foreign policy friend and a protectionist trade rival.

And at the next time when the clocks would normally change again - on October 27, 2019 - member states would decide whether they want to change the clocks. "If they remain, they should be an unacceptable backwards step in Europe".

"The commission is expected to propose that, in spring 2021, we switch to summertime and leave the clocks there for good".

The EU boss also launched an attack on rising populism and urged EU member states to unite.

"We want to build a new partnership with Africa".

Juncker urged the European Union to strike a "new alliance" with Africa that would create millions of jobs and include a free trade deal - a move Brussels hopes would both showcase its global influence and help to stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.

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