EU chief aims to boost euro's role in world markets

Commission President Jean Claude Juncker during the State of the Union address last year

Commission President Jean Claude Juncker during the State of the Union address last year

The following content is sourced from external partners. "We can not have democracy without free press".

Juncker also spoke about the global role of the European Union in an ever-changing world, saying that "the worldwide order which Europeans have taken advantage of since World War II is more and more challenged".

In a wide-ranging Wednesday speech that touched on trade, migration, and global exchange currencies, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker used his final State of the Union Address to urge the European Union to take control of its destiny, and claim a place at the center stage of global politics.

One reporter covering Jean-Claude Juncker's keynote address said a "sudden" and "louder, deafening set of applause" came through the PA system, without members in the room "doing anything different".

Rather than taking stock of the last four years, he said that he would once again lay out a number of proposals for the future insisting that while the European Union was not ideal, work would continue to make it a "little bit more flawless every day".

Last year, some 25 million people from sub-Saharan Africa lived outside their countries, according to a Pew Research study.

He also saw new opportunities to work with China, Japan and others to develop "multilateral" rules.

Pointing to questions in many countries over Washington's role as the global economic leader, Juncker may also say the euro should be better promoted as a world currency, querying why European Union energy imports, for example, are mostly priced in dollars when nearly none of them come from the United States. He said airlines should also buy planes priced in euros not dollars.

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He called on member states to "revive the lost art of compromise", insisting that this was the not the same as a weakness of convictions.

At the same time, the Commission put forward a plan to get even tougher on illegal economic migrants whose arrival has so angered Orban and others.

He also called on the two legislators, the Parliament and the Council, to find a principle agreement on the EU budget after 2020, before the break of several months surrounding the european elections, the campaign to the composition of a new Commission.

Delivering his annual state-of-the-union speech to the European Parliament, Juncker said the EU will not allow Britain to participate only in some parts of the bloc's single market after Brexit without honouring all of its rules.

He said he agreed with some of Theresa May's Chequers plan, but then undermined a key part of it, warning the United Kingdom can not pick and choose to be in parts of the single market.

Referring to the sudden breakout of World War I in 1914, Juncker called for greater respect for the role of the European Union as a "guarantor of peace".

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