State of the Union 2018

In 2018, President Juncker made a rallying cry for a more sovereign Europe that allows its nations to be global players. Looking to 2019, he used the speech to set out proposals – on migration, cybersecurity and foreign policy – that can deliver positive results for citizens in the run-up to the European elections.

State of the Union 2017

In 2017, President Juncker's speech struck a positive tone, noting that Europe has the wind back in its sails. He looked to the future in the speech, proposing a roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic union. Initiatives were adopted by the Commission on trade, investment screening, cybersecurity, industry, data and democracy.

State of the Union 2016

In 2016, President Juncker announced new initiatives to invest in Europe's young people, jobseekers and start-ups, and to expand access to wi-fi in public places, and make fairer copyright laws. He also presented the Investment Plan for Africa and the new European Border and Coast Guard.

State of the Union 2015

In 2015, President Juncker's first State of the Union Address focused on major challenges included the emerging refugee crisis, the future of the euro, and foreign policy. President Juncker presented new proposals in the fields of migration, external action, and economic and fiscal policy.

Highlights in quotes


Our efforts will continue unabated over the coming months to render this imperfect Union that little bit more perfect with each passing day. (…) We will use the 250 days before the European elections to prove to citizens that, acting as one, this Union is capable of delivering on expectations and on what we promised to achieve at the start of this mandate

The geopolitical situation makes this Europe's hour: the time for European sovereignty has come. (…) Sharing sovereignty – when and where needed – makes each of our States and nations stronger.

To love Europe, is it love its nations. To love your country is to love Europe. Patriotism is a virtue. Unchecked nationalism is riddled with both poison and deceit.


The wind is back in Europe's sails. We now have a window of opportunity but it will not stay open forever. Now is the time to build a more united, a stronger, a more democratic Europe.

Europe extends from Vigo to Varna. From Spain to Bulgaria. East to West: Europe must breathe with both lungs. Otherwise our continent will struggle for air.

Europe has to be able to act quicker and more decisively, and this also applies to the Economic and Monetary Union (…) We started to fix the roof. But we must now complete the job now that the sun is shining and whilst it still is.


We can be united even though we are diverse. The great, democratic nations of Europe must not bend to the winds of populism. Europe must not cower in the face of terrorism. No – Member States must build a Europe that protects. And we, the European institutions, must help them deliver this promise.

Solidarity is the glue that keeps our Union together (…)When the Portuguese hills were burning, Italian planes doused the flames. When floods cut off the power in Romania, Swedish generators turned the lights back on. When thousands of refugees arrived on Greek shores, Slovakian tents provided shelter.

Tolerance cannot come at the price of our security. We need to know who is crossing our borders (…) Every time someone enters or exits the EU, there will be a record of when, where and why.


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. We have to change this. And we have to change this now.

I believe we can, and should, play our part on the world stage; not for our own vanity, but because we have something to offer. (...) I want a Europe that leads. When the European Union stands united, we can change the world.

Pushing back boats from piers, setting fire to refugee camps (…) that is not Europe. Europe is the baker in Kos who gives away his bread to hungry and weary souls. Europe is the students in Munich and in Passau who bring clothes for the new arrivals at the train station (…) This is the Europe I want to live in.