Jean-Claude Juncker delivers State of the European Union

Jean-Claude Juncker delivers State of the European Union

Jean-Claude Juncker will deliver his annual State of the Union address today to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. As

FRANCE-EU-PARLIAMENT

Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty

Jean-Claude Juncker will deliver his annual State of the Union address today to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

As anti-EU parties have been slow to gain ground, Juncker’s address will be far more optimistic than last year’s edition. A free trade deal recently agreed with Japan will add further cheer to the occasion. Juncker’s address will also cap off a dramatic reversal of fortune for the EU, although Brexit and illegal migration remain significant challenges for the bloc.

With European parliamentary elections set for 2019, this year’s address represents a final opportunity for Juncker, who is not seeking another term, to lay the groundwork for what he wants to achieve as European Commission president. As such, Juncker has declared this year’s address as “more important than the 2018 one”.

Expect Juncker to use his annual address to fast-track trade deals with Australia and New Zealand. Policy details for a coordinated framework for screening foreign investment will also be on the agenda, as Juncker targets greater economic coordination within the trade bloc.

 

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