Juncker’s Europe of the future: One President, common army and a stronger market

»Those who don’t know how to seek compromise, are not suitable for a democracy and not capable for Europe« is only one of many statements that Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, made yesterday morning is his annual address to the European Parliament, the State of the European Union, where he presented his vision for Europe.

This year, things were different. Juncker decided to dedicate the biggest part of his speech to his vision of the future of the European Union. As a true European, Juncker followed the ideas of Europe’s founding fathers and set out a number of ambitious, yet practical and realistic goals for a closer cooperation among the European Union Member States. He spoke of common values (freedom, equality and rule of law), which he transformed into concrete examples. His discourse contained a strong European note of a project that is never finished and that we can build upon, change and adapt any time we are wish. A sole President for the Union, a Minister for economy and finance, pan-European lists for European Parliament elections, a common army and a mechanism for exchange of data among secret services are only some of key elements related to Juncker’s vision for Europe in 2025.

State of the Union Address 2017 by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC
Speech by Jean-Claude Juncker. Source: Eupbserver

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Junckerjeva Evropa prihodnosti: En predsednik, skupna vojska, močnejši trg

»Kdor ne zna iskati kompromisov, ni primeren za demokracijo in ni sposoben za Evropo«. To je bila le ena od izjav predsednika Evropske komisije, Jeana-Clauda Junckerja, ki je včeraj dopoldne v svojem letnem nagovoru o Stanju v Uniji, poslancem Evropskega parlamenta predstavil svojo vizijo Evrope.

Letos je bilo namreč vse drugače. Juncker se je odločil, da bo poleg vsakoletne tradicije pregleda dosežkov Komisije in njenih načrtov za prihodnost, večji del govora namenil lastni viziji za Evropsko unijo prihodnosti. Kot pravi Evropejec je Juncker, v duhu ustanoviteljev evropskih integracij, v svoji viziji zastavil ambiciozne, a praktično realne cilje tesnejšega povezovanja držav Evropske unije in njenih državljanov. Govoril je o skupnih vrednotah (svobodi, enakopravnosti in vladavini prava), ki jih je pretvoril v jezik konkretnih primerov. Njegov nastop je zaznamoval močan proevropski prizvok projekta, ki ne bo nikoli dokončan, saj ga iz dneva v dan nadgrajujemo, izboljšujemo in spreminjamo. En sam predsednik za Evropsko unijo, Minister za gospodarstvo in finance, vseevropske liste na volitvah v Evropski parlament, skupna evropska vojska in mehanizem za izmenjavo podatkov med obveščevalnimi službami so le nekateri ključni elementi Junckerjeve vizije za Evropo v letu 2025.

State of the Union Address 2017 by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC
Predsednik Evropske komisije je pozval k tesnejšemu sodelovanju za dobrobit Evropejk in Evropejcev. Vir: Euobserver

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After Ljubljana and Bled: A blurred role of Slovenia in the European Union of the future

The White Paper on the Future of the Union prompted many new formats that the European institutions as well as national politicians have been testing in the past years, to bring the discussion on the future of the European Union closer its citizens. In this view, Commissioners like Violeta Bulc, have been undertaking a number of Citizens Dialogues, the French President Emmanuel Macron announced a similar setting and we are eagerly awaiting the annual State of the European Union address by the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, who will this week present his own vision for Europe.

Last week, Slovenia hosted the first Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, who held a dialogue with citizens at the national television. The debate was broadcast live during prime time on TV, as well as radio and social media of the European Commission’s representation in Slovenia. A day later, discussions about the European Union took place in the frame of the Bled Strategic Forum. However, when there is talk in Slovenia about the future of the European Union, more often than not, we face a very limited debate with short-term visions presented by citizens as well as those who represent our country in Brussels and take decisions on its behalf. Long-term scenarios are being debated in Brussels, while Slovenia is thinking about more cohesion funds and how to deal with our neighbours in the next few years. This was again demonstrated last week in the studio of the Slovenian national broadcaster, as well as in the big hall in Bled.

evropska komisija
Source: European Commission

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Dobro jutro, Evropa. In vse najboljše, gospa!

Pred točno 10 leti sem v Bordeauxu za svoje Erasmus prijatelje kupila torto. Imeli smo črno-belo natisnjeno zastavico EU, ki jo je nekdo že v kampusu zrezal in prilepil tako, da so bile zvezdice na obeh straneh. V tipičnem francoskem barčku smo naprosili plastične krožnike in zobotrebec, da je zastavica lahko ponosno krasila torto. In tako smo nazdravili na Evropo. Takrat nisem imela pojma, kako pomembna bo postala Evropska unija v mojem življenju in življenju nekaterih mojih odštekanih Erasmus in ostalih prijateljev. Ampak glede Evrope je stvar takšna, da se ti enostavno zgodi. Evrope ne poznaš, dokler je ne srečaš. In enkrat, ko jo spoznaš, ti obrne življenje na glavo.

EU_banner60birds
Vir: EC – Audiovisual Service

 

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Ljubljanska pobuda- instant besedilo iz konzerv preteklih pogodb

Kaj Ljubljanska pobuda resnično je? Kaj je zapisano na slabih 70 straneh besedila, ki bi naj tako zelo pompozno naznanilo novo obdobje v razvoju evropskih integracij in spodbudilo Slovence in Evropejce, da postane(m)jo bolj evropski?

Ljubljanska pobuda bo morda Slovencem dala občutek pripadnosti evropski družini in soodgovornosti za evropski projekt. Del politične kampanje Predsednika Republike pa je (žal) svetlobna leta oddaljen od potencialne nove Ustave za Evropsko unijo.

Opravljena je bila predstavitev, spisana so bila sporočila za javnost, podane izjave in nastalo je pričakovano število prispevkov v slovenskih medijih. Ljubljanska pobuda kot del politične kampanje; kot dokument, ki bo postal nova Ustava za EU; kot nekaj, kar je nastalo na sprehodu državotvornih Slovencev; iniciative, ki jo je podprl Predsednik Republike.

V dežju notranjepolitičnih analiz, smo pripravili evropski vpogled v vsebino besedila Ljubljanske pobude  (The New Draft Treaty for the Constitution of the European Union).

65371288_photo_514751_20170106_4
Vir: rtvslo.si

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The Ljubljana Initiative – Instant texts from past Treaties

What is The Ljubljana Initiative? What is written in this 70 pages document, produced by some prominent Slovenian politicians and political analysts, which should pompously mark the new era in European integration and give an incentive to Slovenes and Europeans to become more European?

The Ljubljana Initiative might have given Slovenes a sense of belonging to the European family and a sense of shared responsibility for the European project. However, this part of the President of the Republic’s political campaign is (unfortunately) very far from a potential new Treaty on the Constitution for the European Union.

Everything was done by the book. A presentation was made, press releases published, statements delivered and a number of articles were published in many Slovenian media outlets. The Ljubljana Initiative is described as many things: a part of a political campaign, a document that would become a new Constitution for Europe, something that materialized during a walk of a small number of Slovene intellectuals, an initiative supported by the President of the Republic himself. In the midst of numerous political analyses of the Ljubljana Initiative, all of which mainly looked at its impact on internal policies of Slovenia, EU360 prepared our own opinion from the viewpoint of Europe.

65371288_photo_514751_20170106_4
Source: rtvslo.si

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Teden v EU – izredni vrh EU-Turčija, plenarka v Strasbourgu in komisarski dialog v Ljubljani

Medtem ko evropski poslanci zapuščajo Bruselj in se selijo na redno marčevsko zasedanje v Strasbourg, pa v belgijsko prestolnico že prihajajo voditelji držav in vlad EU in turški premierAhmet Davutoğlu, ki se bodo sestali na izrednem vrhu med EU in Turčijo o sodelovanju pri reševanju begunske krize. Poleg voditeljev se bodo na različnih zasedanjih Sveta čez teden sestali tudi finančni, notranji in ministri za delo. Dogajalo pa se bo tudi v Ljubljani, kjer bo v četrtek potekal dialog z državljani s komisarjema Violeto Bulc in Karmenu Vella ter okrogla miza o položaju begunk in prosilk za azil.

(Vir: (c) Informacijska pisarna EP v Sloveniji
(Vir: (c) Informacijska pisarna EP v Sloveniji

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A Slovenian look over Brussels (and London)

Last weekend an article on the website of the Slovenian daily business newspaper Finance got my attention. The article summarised a public opinion poll made by Lord Ashcroft Polls about the feeling of Europeans about the UK and Brexit. Besides checking the feeling about Brexit (60% of the interviewed said they want the UK to remain in the EU, while only 10% would like to see the country out), the poll explored which are the EU’s favourite countries and what Europeans most like and dislike of the EU. The results for Slovenia are not a surprise and they show that Slovenians don’t know how the EU works. They also point out that they suffer from a problem common to other Europeans – we want only the benefits the EU brings, while we want the obligations to be carried by others.

(Vir: MZaplotnik/Wikimedia Commons)
(Source: MZaplotnik/Wikimedia Commons)

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Slovenski pogled na Bruselj (in London)

Prejšnji vikend je mojo pozornost pritegnil članek na spletnem portalu časnika Finance, ki povzema rezultate raziskave, ki jo je v povezavi z nedavnimi dogodki povezanimi z odnosom Velike Britanije do EU pripravila britanska agencija Lord Ashcroft Pools. Poleg ugotavljanja kaj si Evropejci mislijo o obstanku Velike Britanije v EU (60% si jih želi da država ostane v povezavi, samo 10% pa bi si jih želelo, da država odide) pa raziskava tudi ugotavlja kaj je državljanom vsake posamezne države najbolj všeč in kaj nas v EU najbolj moti. Rezultati za Slovenijo niso presenetljivi, kažejo pa naše nepoznavanje delovanja EU in na problem, ki ga imajo tudi drugi Evropejci – od Evropske unije bi radi samo koristi, nihče pa ne obveznosti, ki jih ta prinaša.

(Vir: MZaplotnik/Wikimedia Commons)
(Vir: MZaplotnik/Wikimedia Commons)

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What’s the price of our values

3 billion euros, speed up of visa liberalisation and acceleration of EU accession negotiations. This is briefly what Turkey got on Sunday’s summit with EU leaders in exchange of limiting the refugees’ arrivals to Europe. Article 2 of the Treaty of the EU states that “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.” However, as everything, also this values have their price.

Vir: (c) Evropska unija 2015
Source: (c) European Union 2015

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