'Our European Union is not in a good state. There is not enough Europe in this Union. And there is not enough Union in this Union.' This morning, President Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his first State of the Union address before the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
President Juncker focused on big challenges such as the refugee crisis, the future of the euro and foreign policy. In the speech, President Juncker outlined his political vision for the future of the EU and set out the main elements guiding the preparation of the Commission's Work Programme for 2016 and beyond.
President Juncker also outlined the proposal, adopted by the Commission today, to relocate an additional 120,000 refugees from Italy, Greece and Hungary. This is part of a comprehensive package of measures aimed at addressing the refugee crisis, including a list of safe countries of origin, a handbook on returns and a permanent relocation mechanism.
The President’s speech was followed by a plenary debate. The annual State of the European Union address was established by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 and is an annual milestone for the Commission President to set out his views. It also serves to kick-start consultations with the Parliament and the Council on the work programme of the Commission and is an important element in the structured dialogue between the European Commission and the European Parliament.
State of the European Union news and updates can be found on a dedicated web page hosting news and updates. Coverage includes a Live Blog, outlining observer insights, opinion and analysis shared online. During the speech, people shared their views via the Live Blog on the website and by using the hashtag #SOTEU across social media. The Commission's proposals to tackle the refugee crisis can be found here.
- Video – President Juncker's concluding remarks following interventions by Members of the European Parliament