Thursday 14 September 2017

Juncker’s Future of Europe and SOTEU agenda

If we approach the 13 September 2017 State of the European Union (SOTEU) debate as seen by the European Parliament, we find the press release Let’s make the most of the momentum to shape an ambitious future, with a summary of the plenary debate, but enough links to keep us busy listening and reading for a long time.

In addition to reading the brief notes about the speeches, I used the links to videos to relisten to the interventions by the president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani and the trilingual SOTEU address of Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in five parts (and to read the full speech in text form, SPEECH/17/3165, now available in four unilingual versions: English, French, German and Estonian) plus Juncker’s later concluding remarks.

Juncker’s summary of the European Commission’s agenda for a more united, stronger and more democratic union - a better future of Europe - as well as the priorities for the Commission Work Programme (CWP) 2018, is found in the speech text:   

My hope is that on 30 March 2019, Europeans will wake up to a Union where we all stand by our values. Where all Member States firmly respect the rule of law. Where being a full member of the euro area, the Banking Union and the Schengen area has become the norm for all EU Member States. Where we have shored up the foundations of our Economic and Monetary Union so that we can defend our single currency in good times and bad, without having to call on external help. Where our single market will be fairer towards workers from the East and from the West. Where we managed to agree on a strong pillar of social standards. Where profits will be taxed where they were made. Where terrorists have no loopholes to exploit. Where we have agreed on a proper European Defence Union. Where a single President leads the work of the Commission and the European Council, having been elected after a democratic Europe-wide election campaign.
If our citizens wake up to this Union on 30 March 2019, then they should be able vote in the European Parliament elections a few weeks later with the firm conviction that our Union is a place that works for them.

The responses by the leaders of the political groups to the SOTEU address, as well as the press releases of the groups, can be accessed through the press release from the European Parliament.


We have just scratched the surface. President Juncker’s agenda is going to keep the EU institutions busy until the next elections to the European Parliament, in 2019.

Ralf Grahn

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