The head of the European Commission considers that the EU is not as united as we believe and faces the threat of a surging populism.
September 14, 2016 – CNBC
Delivering his annual “State of the Union” address, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that there was still “a lack of union” in the EU and that “this has something to do with the crisis in the EU.”
“There are too many areas where the scope in which we cooperate together is too small and national interests are brought to the fore. European integration cannot be left or bow to the interests of individual members states,” he said.
Juncker said that the EU did not want to undermine national states but wanted a “better Europe” and “more solidarity.”
“There are splits out there and fragmentation exits…and that is leaving scope for galloping populism – and that does not solve problems, it creates them and we need to be aware of that and protect ourselves against it,” he warned.
“It’s high time we take a clear look at the situation, unemployment continues to be too high in Europe and social injustice continues and that’s why we have to very quickly get to work on the basis of social fairness and equity,” he said.
Juncker also proposed that the region double the duration and financial capacity of its European Investment Fund which, he said, would provide a total “of at least 500 billion euros ($561 billion) of investment by 2020, and will work to reach 630 billion by 2022.”
The European Union (EU) has a lot to worry about: The U.K.’s decision in June to leave the economic and political bloc, rising anti-EU sentiment elsewhere, the migrant crisis and potential political upheavals in some of the region’s biggest economies.
Mentioning the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU, Juncker said again that the decision was regrettable but that the EU itself was not at risk. He again called on the U.K. to not delay in acting on the June referendum result.