The European Union has to take a united stand on the Western Balks or others will shape its neighbourhood, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned on Wednesday.
“We must find unity when it comes to the Western Balkans – once and for all. Should we not, our immediate neighbourhood will be shaped by others,” he said in his state of the union address to the EP.
“The external challenges facing our continent are multiplying by the day. There can therefore be not a moment’s respite in our efforts to build a more united Europe. Europe can export stability, as we have done with the successive enlargements of our Union. For me, these are and will remain success stories for we were able to reconcile Europe’s history and geography,” the European Commission chief told MEPs.
According to Juncker, Europe is the guardian of peace. “We should be thankful we live on a peaceful continent, made possible by the EU so let us show the Union a bit more respect. Let us stop dragging its name through the mud and start defending our communal way of life more. We should embrace the kind of patriotism that is used for good, and never against others. We should reject the kind of exaggerated nationalism that projects hate and destroys all in its path. The kind of nationalism that points the finger at others instead of searching for ways to better live together,” he said.
“United, as a Union, Europe is a force to be reckoned with,” Juncker said, adding that no one should be surprised that Europe succeeds when it speaks with one voice.
“When needed, Europe must act as one,” he said.
Full speech available at:https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-speech_en_0.pdf