Juncker Encourages Western Balkans On EU Membership, Criticizes Turkey

Thursday, 14 Sep, 2017

Juncker made no policy statements on how Britain's exit should be handled or on plans for a new relationship.

Michel Barnier, EU's chief negotiator, has emphasised the need to be flexible while also warning that the "clock is ticking" if an agreement is to be reached by the time the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave at the end of March 2019.

In at details analysis carrier out at the request of the European Parliament - without consideration for a pan-European list - experts proposed that the optimal was forward taking consideration of population and geographical balance would be a reduction of 30 seats and rebalancing of seats to better reflect population size.

Juncker said there was a good chance that the European Union would agree the main elements of a new free trade with the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and of an updated trade partnership with Mexico by the end of this year.

"All this leads me to believe the wind is back in Europe's sails", Juncker told MEPs in the French city of Strasbourg, in a speech that mixed English, French and German.

One popular detail of his speech, was that of introducing an investment screening process to protect European Union assets.

He called for "a European intelligence unit that ensures data concerning terrorists and foreign fighters are automatically shared among intelligence services and with the police".

Creating a European cyber security agency. He also foresees a "fully-fledged" defence union by 2025.

The EU is to propose ways to increase from 36 percent the rate of failed asylum seekers being deported back to their homelands. "We're not asking for anything new or anything special". Juncker wants states to make good on pledges of aid to Africa to promote growth and slow emigration.

A leaked official document posted on the Guardian newspaper's website last week proposed a new system for European Union citizens arriving after Brexit, with those wishing to stay long-term needing to apply for a two-year residence permit.

Keen to push ahead with his masterplan, billed as the biggest reboot in the EU's history, Mr Juncker ratcheted-up the federalisation of the 60-year-old bloc's core economies.

Juncker said that it was Europe that set the rules of the game with the ratification of the multilateral Paris climate agreement.

Rather, Juncker sees his idea of a euro zone covering the whole European Union, with its budget part of the overall European Union budget and run from the existing Commission, as a practical application of the kind of suggestions Macron and Merkel seem to support but on which their administrations have offered little concrete detail.