strasbourg - The EU stands for further integration. If it is chairman of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, gas is progressing with the European project in the last two years before it is declining.
In Strasbourg, the Luxemburger unfolded his plans for the next political year on Wednesday morning and showed himself very ambitious. For an hour he spoke and his tone was optimistic. The European economy is growing again and the migration crisis is under control.
Last year after the Brexit referendum, the tone was still gloomy. A populist wave threatened to rinse across Europe. But according to him, the EU is now in the sails, supported by election results in the Netherlands, France and later this month Germany.
After the German elections there is a six-month period of time in which the EU can further deepen, Juncker said. He called for a European Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs who will also be Eurogroup president. In a separate budget and parliament for the Eurozone, as advocated by the French president Macron, he sees nothing.
In the future, he also wants one president to come. Now, the Commission (Juncker) and the European Council (Tusk), in which the Heads of Government are represented, still have separate presidents.
Juncker also showed very ambitious trade. Before the end of his term, he hopes for trade agreements with New Zealand and Australia. He also opposed social dumping. Workers must be able to count on an equivalent wage, which means, for example, that Eastern European lorry drivers can not get far below the Dutch price.
Turkey got a sweep out of the pan. The country can not become a member of the EU because it is totally wrong. Still, he does not finally throw the door in the lock because he does not want to get the black pit. 'I feel that the Turks would like to pick up the pickup bridge and blame the EU. We reach our hand. '
Juncker called for quick access from Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area. Among other things, the Netherlands blocked that earlier. In the end, Croatia should join, according to the Commission President.
Juncker praised the road taken by the 27 EU countries after the Brexit. According to him, the 27 unanimous will continue. The British, as he said, will still be very sorry for their decision to leave the EU.