European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker has declared what he called “the wind is back in Europe’s sails” during a State of the Union speech in which he outlined his vision for the future of the bloc upon Brexit in 2019.
According to The Guardian, Juncker said he would always deeply lament the UK’s decision to leave the EU. “This will be a very sad and tragic moment in our history, we will always regret this,” He said and in response to a badger from Nigel Farage, Juncker hammered, “I think you will regret this soon, I might say.”
He however called for a special summit in Romania on the 30 March 2019, the day the EU membership reduces by one as the UK would have exited the bloc, but said he hoped the continent would “wake up” that day to a new more unified bloc.
“We have to respect the will of the British people. We are going to make progress. We will keep moving. We will move on because Brexit isn’t everything. It isn’t the future of Europe . It isn’t the all and end all … On the 30 March 2019, we will be a union of 27 and I suggest we prepare very well for that date,” Juncker said.
He added, “I have lived the European project through my entire life. I have fought for it, I have worked for it. I have been through good times, and I have been through bad times … I have sometimes suffered with Europe and agonised over Europe”.
Stressing further, he said, “I have been through thick and thin with the European Union and never have I lost my love for the European Union . As we all know there is no love without disappointment, or very rarely.”
Juncker leveraged on his annual speech to the European parliament in Strasbourg to propose more help for all members of the bloc to join the euro, coupled with other institutional changes, which includes the creation of an EU finance minister.
He also ruled out Turkey’s accession to the EU in the foreseeable future and called for the present and future body of the European Commission comprising leaders of the member states, to be combined in the future.
In addition, Juncker suggested for the adoption of qualified majority voting, instead of the present unanimity, within the council on foreign policy issues. He disclosed his intentions of starting trade talks with Australia and New Zealand, which he hoped to complete by 2025.
He added that the EU will take up the responsibility of protecting the world after the “collapse of the ambitions in the US” on climate change. “Lets catch the wind on our sails,” he called.