13. 09. 2018 14:11
In his last State of the Union Address on Wednesday, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reminded members of the European Parliament of the challenges facing the EU in the near future. Juncker stressed that the Union is the guarantor of peace in Europe, which was also the aim of its founders - never again to have a war on the continent. In his speech, Juncker called on all politicians to respect this image, adding that the manifestations of nationalism that led to World War II in Europe must be condemned.
"In general, we must do more to revive the lost art of compromise. Compromise does not mean sacrificing our convictions or selling out on our values.
We are all responsible for the Europe of today. And we must all take responsibility for the Europe of tomorrow," stated Juncker in front of the European Parliament.
Juncker's last report sparked mixed reactions among Slovak MEPs. Some think it devoted only little space to migration and social issues or to efforts aimed at changing the established decision-making process in the EU. Monika Beňová of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats criticized the report as it failed to address the issue of further strengthening of economic cooperation and the growth or development of European countries' cooperation on European security.
Ivan Štefanec of the European People's Party welcomed Juncker's approach to Brexit and emphasis on the need for a free market agreement. Moreover, Štefanec particularly appreciated the notion that we need to respect democratic institutions and freedom of speech and the press.
Despite being critical of the report, Richard Sulík from the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, said that the European Union was now in a better state than it was when Jean-Claude Juncker took office.