Speech by President Juncker at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament
In the morning of Tuesday, 24 October, President Juncker debriefed the European Parliament, during its Plenary Session in Strasbourg, about the European Council meeting of 19 and 20 October and the progress made on migration issues and the Digital Single Market. Before touching upon these topics though, he referred to the recent natural disasters in Portugal and Spain as well as in the Baltic countries, and said: “Solidarity is a key virtue of our Union and when one of us is confronted with difficulties, it is evident, necessary, elementary that the European Union comes to the aid of the one suffering,” adding that he had tasked Commissioner Stylianides to strengthen the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism further. Then, referring to the Council’s discussion about migration, he called directly on MEPs, saying: “All proposals the Commission elaborated are on the table of Parliament and Council, and I would like to invite you to speed up work namely on the Common Asylum Policy. We are losing time and it is urgent that we find an agreement on all these proposals.” President Juncker had a similar message on proposals linked to the Digital Single Market, also calling on MEPs to speed up the decision-taking, recalling that the Commission has put forward 43 initiatives out of which only six have been adopted. He then welcomed yesterday’s endorsement by the Council on the European Pillar of Social Rights and its general approach to reform the Posting of Workers Directive, saying:“We have to ensure that the social dimension of Europe does not remain wishful thinking, but rather that we fill the social intentions, that exist, with content.” Finally, on Brexit, President Juncker said that“Commission is not negotiating in a hostile mood. We want a deal. […] We want a fair deal with Britain and we will have a fair deal with Britain. The no-deal is not our working assumption.” The full speech by President Juncker is available online.