Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Juncker wants European Union finance minister, no separate euro budget or parliament

Juncker wants European Union finance minister, no separate euro budget or parliament

This time a year ago, Juncker said he had "never before... seen so much fragmentation", and used his union address to pose the question: "Do we want to let our union unravel before our eyes?"

Mr Juncker looked forward to a European Union beyond Brexit where membership of the banking union, eurozone and the Schengen border-free zone would be standard.

Juncker wants a single EU president to replace the heads of the European Commission - the EU's executive arm - and the European Council - which groups the heads of the 28 member states and is now headed by Poland's Donald Tusk. The reforms linked to the tighter integration and averting a so-called two-speed Europe.

Brexit has moved to its next parliamentary stage after over 13 hours of debate in Britain's Parliament.

"We are just making sure that in a worst-case scenario, if the talks go wrong and if the United Kingdom is out of the bloc, then at least we don't end up with an additional oversupply on the market", said Bas Eickhout, a green member of parliament.

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"Because what is at stake at the moment are issues that are very near to the heart of European Parliament and most members of European Parliament".

"But in return we should expect a deal that works for Britain just as much as it works for Europe".

British eurosceptic leader Nigel Farage, who is a Euro-MP, responded to Juncker: "Thank God we're leaving - you've learnt nothing from Brexit".

Writing exclusively in The Sun, Nick Timothy says that despite the "sneering critics", Britain is in a good position to agree a new relationship with the European Union.

Juncker's spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the speech would feature a "reflection on the progress made in the last year" while Juncker "will lay out the programme for the year ahead and until the end of the mandate" in late 2019.

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After calls from the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, for a eurozone budget, a eurozone parliament and an European Union finance minister, Juncker, who has sometimes expressed doubts over some aspects of these ideas, is anticipated on Wednesday to say clearly what he wants. He called for an EU summit in the once German-speaking Transylvanian city of Sibiu on March 30, 2019, the first day Britain will no longer be in the Union.

He called for more action to end the "scandalous" refugee crisis in Europe and said not all member states were pulling their weight to deal with the problem. "The wind is back in Europe's sails, it now has a window of opportunity". "Let us make the most of the momentum, catch the wind in our sails".

Any changes must be agreed by EU member states and the European Commission.

My cousin Laura, in London, says most leave voters are baby boomers over 50, who then voted in a conservative government. Juncker also said talks should also begin with Australia and New Zealand.

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