Jean-Claude Juncker calls for European Union to become 'global player'

Commission President Jean Claude Juncker during the State of the Union address last year

Commission President Jean Claude Juncker during the State of the Union address last year

Jean Claude Juncker has re-affirmed the commitment of the member states in standing with Ireland on the border issue.

As a result if the European Commission proposals are enacted, there would be a one-hour time difference either side of the border for part of the year, from as early as the end of October 2019.

Composed of experts from the European Border and Coast Guard, the EU Agency for Asylum and Europol, the teams will be coordinated by the Commission.

Looking at the slow, but steady recovery from the global economic crisis, Juncker noted that Europe's economy had grown for 21 consecutive quarters.

Mr Juncker delivered his fourth speech in Strasbourg this morning where his motto was "A Europe that protects" - a phrase coined by French President Emmanuel Macron and the same as the Austrian presidency of the Council.

"Only a strong and united Europe can protect our citizens against threats internal and external - from terrorism to climate change", he said, reminding that at the beginning of this mandate, one of the collective promises of the Commission was to deliver an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy.

"We want to build a new partnership with Africa".

A new economic partnership between the two continents "would create up to 10 million jobs in Africa in the next five years alone", he said.


In March, the European Union issued new guidelines ordering faster content removal with the explicit threat of introducing legislation if actions weren't taken fast enough.

While opinion surveys indicate that more Europeans view the EU favorably, residents are also becoming more sympathetic toward nationalist political parties skeptical of the 28-member union.

Juncker welcomed Mrs May's proposal in the Chequers plan for the establishment of a free trade area between Britain and the EU.

"In the event of systematic failures to remove such content following removal orders, a service provider could face financial penalties of up to four percent of its global turnover for the last business year".

It was the fourth, and probably the last, time that Juncker addressed the MEPs.

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will be forced to take terrorist content off their sites within an hour or face multimillion pound fines, under fresh proposals from the European Union. 'We need a lot more.

The EU boss also launched an attack on rising populism and urged EU member states to unite. "Article 7 must be applied whenever the rule of law is threatened", he said.

Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, he made a pitch for the EU to "punch above its weight, not below".

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