Building Europe never stops
EC President Juncker talked to the press two days ahead of Sibiu summitEuropost , Brussels
We have good reasons to hope and no reasons to fear the future, said on Tuesday EC President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Commission's pressroom presenting to the EU correspondents the political messages that he will be taking to Sibiu summit.
“My most important piece of advice is that there is no strategy without focus: we must decide on the things that really matter and can really be tackled on a European level: you can end up doing nothing if you try to do everything”, he said.
According to him “Building Europe never stops”. We must always look forward, proud of what we have done but focused on what we still have to do, he noted adding that the Commission put forward a set of strategic priorities for leaders to discuss in Sibiu.
Talking about the forthcoming EU elections he stressed that the stakes are high. “This is the largest transnational election anywhere in the world. Everyone has to know that they are Europe on this day. Every voice counts. We must fights populists and extremists - not with slogans but with actions”, EC President urged.
We have record levels of employment, salaries in Europe have risen by 5.7%, the Juncker Plan has triggered around 400bn of investment, he pointed out presenting also others achievements of his Commission. Jobs, growth and investments were promised by the Commission.
We still have some unfinished business to complete, notably on the Commission’s proposals with the 2025 perspective, Juncker said explaining that this includes more efficient decision making where make sense moving from unanimity on a limited number of issues. It also means credible European perspective for the Western Balkans, he asserted.
“If there is political will to deliver this long-term perspective, then it can be delivered. And it can be done without reopening the Treaties. I am not against Treaty changes but a lot can be done if there is political will.”
"When I took office, I said it was our last chance to show Europeans that their Union works for them. I have spent the last five years working tirelessly to deliver on the promises we made. In some areas, I believe we have surpassed expectations, in others, we may have fallen short of them. But I believe we have always acted where it counts the most. Now the EU must look forward, learning from our experiences and building on its successes. We must be even more ambitious and focused than ever before.”
He conceded that one of his biggest mistakes in office was that he answered to LuxLeaks affair one week after it appeared, not immediately. The second fault, he considers, was failing to get involved in the Brexit referendum campaign and “counter the lies spread”.