12 September, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave his fourth and last State of the Union speech before Parliament in Strasbourg. He called for a strong and united Europe, warning against the dangers of populism. With eight months to go until the European elections, the debate outlined an ambitious path for the European Union of 27, Strasbourg.
It was European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's fourth and last State of the Union address at the European Parliament. I would like next year's elections to be a landmark of European democracy. With eight months before the European elections, the debate was an opportunity to sketch an ambitious path for the future of the EU of 27. The European Parliament wants, more than ever, to be at the heart of democracy. I thank you for the initiatives to make our European elections safe. Not trolls, not fake news, not Cambridge Analytica will decide, the people will decide. I want to ask the Commission in the coming months to introduce a package of proposals to protect our elections against foreign meddling. Juncker stressed the need for unity in the face of rising populism. This belief that 'united we stand taller' is the very essence of what it means to be part of the European Union. Members looked back on Juncker's achievements and called for action on migration, climate change and the economy. We have to open legal ways for migration. It's a scandal what we witnessed again this summer in the Mediterranean. Climate change is happening, it's happening now. The good news about climate change is that we know what to do. The bad news is that we don't do it. We have to admit that 10 years after the financial crisis, the previous level of prosperity has not been re-established in many countries. Others touched upon the current divisions in Europe. The number of people who are deeply dissatisfied with the European project is increasing. You made no acknowledgement of the populist revolt that is sweeping through virtually every single member state. Your Commission's action is opaque, anti-democratic and harsh. Juncker stressed the need to turn Europe into a greater global player on the world stage – protecting the Union for the generations to come.