STRASBOURG: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday that the “wind is back in Europe’s sails” as the continent becomes more united and economic momentum picks up a year after Brexit.
“All this leads me to believe the wind is back in Europe’s sails,” Juncker said in his annual State of the Union speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
“We have now a window of opportunity but it will not stay open forever. Let us make the most of the momentum, catch the wind in our sails.”
Juncker recalled that when he gave the same speech last year that the European Union was “not in a good state.”
It was a year when the 28-nation bloc was “shaken to our very foundations,” he said, following the British vote to leave, the rise of populism, the migration crisis and economic troubles.
“We only had two choices, either come together around the positive European agenda or each retreat into our own corner,” the former Luxembourg premier said.
“Faced with this choice I argued for unity,” he said, “I proposed a positive agenda to create a Europe that protects, a Europe that empowers, a Europe that defends.”