- MEPs praise Commission efforts to tackle numerous crises
- More could have been done on climate change and environmental protection
- Juncker: “We should be proud that peace has been maintained in Europe”.
In a debate with Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday morning, MEPs took stock of the work and achievements of the outgoing Commission.
Mr Juncker reflected on progress in the Commission’s priority areas, including growth, jobs and investment, giving a new impetus to Europe and engagement with citizens, the focus on big issues and cuts to the number of new proposals.
He expressed disappointment that the banking union was not concluded – which he sees as key to fighting future crises - but listed successes such as the pillar of social rights and posted workers rules as important steps in providing dignity to workers.
Relations with Africa and 15 new trade agreements were mentioned, among others, as successes. To him, however, the biggest success is that peace has been maintained in Europe. He called on MEPs to keep up the fight for Europe and against “stupid” nationalism.
A number of EP political group leaders thanked the Commission President for his efforts during the past five years on economic and migration crises and Brexit negotiations, for putting social issues on the agenda and for moving away from austerity. They also praised him for not compromising on freedoms and fighting tax evasion. Some also highlighted the Commission’s efforts to boost investment, strengthen the single market and ensure security of energy supply.
Some MEPs criticised the Juncker Commission for not doing enough to tackle climate change, and condemned action to protect whistle blowers as too “timid” and said that social issues had not been sufficiently addressed.
You can watch the full debate here