European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave his annual State of the European Union address at the European Parliament on Wednesday morning presenting his vision for the future of the Union. Mr. Juncker ruled the prospect of an EU membership for Turkey in the foreseeable future in his speech. The main points of Juncekr’s speech were:
A single president at the helm of the Commission and the Council, after having been elected in a pan-European campaign;
* A European minister of economy and finance. A future Commissioner for economy and finance, ideally a Commission vice-president, could carry out this role as well as chairing the eurogroup;
* Transnational lists for European elections. “I will try to convince the leader of my parliamentary group to try to follow this idea”.
Trade/ eurozone/ enlargement:
* Eurozone: Member states that are obliged to adopt the euro need support of a euro accession instrument, which will offer pre-accession assistance;
* Need to strengthen European trade program. Opening trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand;
* Calls for a new EU framework for investment screening;
* All EU rules on worker mobility must be implemented fairly, simply and effectively “and for that, we need a new supervisory authority. We are going to set up a common labour market authority.”
* Member states should agree as soon as possible on the European pillar of social rights;
* Legal migration routes. Returning migrants with no right to stay in Europe;
* High time to bring Romania and Bulgaria into Schengen area, as well as Croatia, when it meets the criteria;
* Greater and credible accession prospects to countries of the Western Balkans. But not during Juncker’s mandate;
* But there can be no EU membership for Turkey for some foreseeable future.