President of the European Commission Jean-Cloude Juncker attended today’s plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. On the agenda was first the presentation of the programme of activities of the Bulgarian Presidency, and President Juncker congratulated the Bulgarian side for a particularly well-prepared Presidency, calling the six months ahead crucial for the European Union and its future.
He also welcomed that Prime Minister Borissov had made the building of consensus one of his priorities, a “wise choice”, the President said, and more important today than ever.
President Juncker said: “[…]the truth is that Bulgaria had to come a long way to join our Union. It had to make changes in a handful of years that other countries made in decades. It had to be patient, it had to be determined, it had to be courageous – and it was. Today it is with great pride but also with great expectation that I look forward to the next six Bulgarian month.”
President Juncker also reminded his audience that he would travel to the Balkans end of February and early March this year. The full speech is available online.
In a second session of the EP’s plenary today, President Juncker participated in a discussion on the Future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar.
President Juncker said to be delighted about the Leaders’ Agenda and said: “17 Summits in the next 18 months on the road to Sibiu – Hermannstadt – to chart our common future. This is even more than we had at the height of the Eurozone crisis. But with one important difference: This time we are not repairing the burning plane while flying, as we had to do it during the crisis. Instead, we are now fixing the roof of our European house while the sun is shining. We now know what we need to do together: completing our Economic and Monetary Union, securing our borders, delivering on our social agenda, making our tax system fairer, reforming our asylum system, getting back to Schengen and completing the Digital Market and Energy Union.”