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The European Perspective: Juncker on the State of the European Union

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English] [français]

“The EU is not in good condition”: In his first State of the European Union address European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has roundly criticised the manner in which the refugee crisis has been dealt with so far. The Commission chief called on the Member States to take decisive action and outline the framework for a common EU asylum policy. Was Juncker convincing? Here are the positions of the Editors of the German, French, and English editions of TNF.

“”We are missing Europe and we are missing union" president of the commission Junker uses clear words to critique refugee- and asylum policy in the EU. – © European Union 2015 - European Parliament" / Flickr/ CC BY-NC-ND 4.0-Lizenz

Juncker’s “Time for Honesty”

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Marcel Wollscheid - Editor-in-Chief of treffpunkteuropa.de

“Jean-Claude Juncker’s speech will not be remembered in history, but the President of the Commission succeeded in holding up a mirror to the European Union amidst the refugee crisis. His proposals for a common European asylum policy are coherent: a permanent relocation mechanism for asylum seeker, a shared list of safe countries of origin, stronger protection of the external EU borders and legal ways to migrate to Europe. The question remains, if his words will shift the position of the national heads of government. The chair of the President of the European Council remained empty during the speech.”

Bravery of action

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Hervé Moritz - Editor-in-Chief of Le Taurillon

"Jean-Claude Juncker has provided a course of an hour and a half to European MP’s in Strasbourg. Among priorities of European Commission, the most important is one about refugees crisis. 500 000, it’s the number of refugees who are washed up on European coasts since the beginning of the year. Juncker proposes a permanent mechanism of relocalisation of refugees with an obligation for States to welcome a number of asylum-seekers. It’s a measure of good sense like reinforcing humanitarian aids and creating legal ways of immigration.

Juncker demonstrates that we don’t build Europe on national egotisms, but on fundamental values which unify European citizens. States will take their responsibilities. Hypocrisy of Member States and shameful squabbles in front of this situation are guilty behaviors. This situation highlights inefficiency of European Council. National interests can’t rule European politics. The ball is now in the camp of Member States. They will be responsible in front of court of history."

European integration moved forward, but why bring UKIP along?

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Christopher Powers - Managing Editor of The New Federalist

“When speaking English, Juncker hit the nail on the head effectively and brought together many things we Federalists have been calling for for a long time, so in short I enjoyed his speech very much. However as a Brit, I did not appreciate Juncker’s recognition of UKIP’s little comments (though I did like his response) and nor did I appreciate the camera looking to UKIP for a reaction every time my country was mentioned. Do not give vile bigots the oxygen of undeserved publicity, the media already does a good enough job at giving them the limelight!”

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