Juncker calls for combining two European Union presidencies into one

Juncker calls for combining two European Union presidencies into one

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, used an annual State of the Union speech on Wednesday to pour scorn over Erdogan's track record since he survived a coup attempt in mid-2016.

A vice president of the European Commission to chair the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers and play the role of European Finance and Economy Minister, promoting reforms in states and deploying EU financial instruments to help states in recession or crisis. No candidate is ready yet.

He said there would be no enlargement by the end of the term of the commission since no country will be ready for it, but that after 2019 the European Union would have more than 27 member states.

He also noted that the European Union does not abandon the course of integration of the countries of the former Yugoslavia - Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, which are considered a single region of the Western Balkans.

"Although this part of the Brexit negotiations is about state pensions, the deal must protect workplace pensions as well, as these form a key element of many people's incomes in retirement".

Pro-Brexit supporters argued before the EU referendum past year that closer defence cooperation between the bloc's member states was another sign of closer union, and on Tuesday the Veterans for Britain group said the paper was "a grave mistake".

Aircraft carrier rushed to the Hurricane Irma-battered Keys
Some 6.5 million people, about a third of the state's population, had been ordered to evacuate southern Florida. Many classrooms also were closed in Georgia, which was was under a tropical storm warning for much of Monday.

Without specifically mentioning Hungary and Poland, Juncker warned the two countries to respect the rule of law, and the rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Juncker stood firm on the issue of posted workers, where the commission proposed equal pay for all - something that could threaten eastern European workers in western member states.

He said: "The wind is back in Europe's sails". It was plain for all to see that our union was not in a good state.

Juncker also said he will propose the establishment of a pan-European cybersecurity agency as online attacks around the world mount. "The time has come to take foreign policy decisions in certain cases by qualified majority".

Britain has deployed troops in some Baltic states to counter a resurgent Russian Federation, has worked with the European Union to tackle piracy off the Horn of Africa and worked on joint defence projects, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. But he said there had to be reciprocity in trade deals: "We have to get as much as much as we give".

Juncker is expected to say that the European Union appears to have ridden out the tide of right-wing populism that resulted in the June 2016 Brexit vote and the election of US President Donald Trump last November.

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