State of the European Union Address

Mr Juncker will speak about the state of the European Union today. But will he address its challenges?

Right now, the EU is struggling. It struggles with public opinion. It struggles to resolve its ongoing debt crisis. It struggles to control its migration and asylum crisis. And it struggles with the threat of a resurgent Russia testing its resolve on its members’ eastern borders.

Across too many EU states we see high unemployment, a surging cost of living and the rise of some dangerous strands of political populism. Trade agreements with the wider world are held back. And a succession of attacks this summer gave a regular, bleak reminder of the EU’s vulnerability to terrorism.

I head the European Conservatives & Reformists (ECR) Group – which has MEPs from 18 EU countries –  and we say that the last thing we need from Mr Juncker is more cold comfort. This state of the union should be a moment for the EU to take its problems seriously, and propose radical reform.

The EU cannot keep doing the same things and expect different results. Brussels needs to tear its gaze from the European Project of further political integration and focus on the immediate needs of its citizens for prosperity and security.

The ECR group wants Mr Juncker to be bold. Our political group has seen unprecedented growth because we understand Brussels needs the courage to change. Complementing national governments works when seeking to replace them fails. The EU must do better. Doing less but doing it better would be a good start.

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