»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.
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.
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.
Il m’a été aimablement proposé de vous soumettre une analyse relative au vote du dimanche 6 décembre dernier, premier tour des élections régionales françaises, que la presse décrit assez unanimement de « choc électoral » du fait des résultats a priori exceptionnels du Front National aujourd’hui premier parti de France.
It would be hard to find another trade agreement that has ever been under such media spotlight than Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is at the moment. But that is understandable as TTIP is much more than just another preferential trade agreement project: it aims to link the world’s two biggest economic entities. TTIP, for which negotiations between the European Union and the United States began in 2013, is presented as an ambitious and comprehensive partnership.