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European Union needs Bulgaria, Romania in Schengen area 'immediately' - Juncker

13 September 2017

Juncker wants a single EU president to replace the heads of the European Commission - the EU's executive arm - and the European Council - which groups the heads of the 28 member states and is now headed by Poland's Donald Tusk.

The State of the Union address by the Commission president takes place annually before parliament so that MEPs may review the past work of the Commission while also identifying policy priority areas in the upcoming year.

He said that by the time Britain leaves the EU in March 2019, euro zone membership and participation in the EU's banking union - which entails a single EU supervisor, resolution authority and deposit guarantee scheme - should be the norm for all EU members.

The EU President told the European Parliament that Brexit would be a "sad, tragic" moment for the EU but that the 27-member union would "move on".

"We must respect the will of the British people, but we will move forward, we will move forward - because Brexit is not everything, because Brexit is not the future of Europe", the veteran politician added. He spoke at a time when a significant majority of Europeans disproved of the EU's handling of economic issues and the migrant crisis.

The bill was prompted by mounting concern that Britain could fail to reach at least a transitional trade deal with the European Union before its scheduled departure from the bloc less than two years from now, Reuters reported. The expected positive change of tone by Juncker as he addresses the 750 MEPs will be dramatic compared to previous year when a string of crises from the debt in the eurozone to migration culminated in the the Brexit quake.

"When I stood before you this time past year, I had a somewhat easier speech to give".

"March 29, 2019 - that is the date when the United Kingdom will leave the European Union".

"Today, we are asking that we open up negotiations with Australia and with New Zealand", he said. Stop insulting our member states by comparing their leaders to fascists and Nazis.

The chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Howard Davies said that it most vulnerable position and it will need to "change gear" on the amount of money it's going to pay.

Asked if Mrs May backed Mr Juncker's proposals for closer integration, the spokesman said: "This was a speech about the future of the EU. They belong where freedom of expression reigns", Juncker said.

The eurozone should meanwhile be expanded beyond the 19 countries that now use the single currency, in line with the EU's treaties that say all states must join the euro, he said.

And Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the UK's role in the continent's defence had "never been more vital".

European Union needs Bulgaria, Romania in Schengen area 'immediately' - Juncker