Juncker: EU to maintain credible enlargement perspective for the Western Balkans

Juncker: EU to maintain credible enlargement perspective for the Western Balkans

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Wednesday that Britain will regret its decision to leave the EU, saying that the bloc will "move on" after London's departure.

The European Commission, member states and EU lawmakers had meant to overcome their differences a day before Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers his annual state of the union speech to the European Parliament.

Saying he regretted Britain's decision to leave the bloc in March 2019, Juncker called for the European Union, the world's biggest trading bloc, to forge ahead with free trade deals as the United States under President Donald Trump takes a more insular turn.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said the European Union proposal needed to be complemented by further work to ensure reciprocity in public procurement.

"I have been through thick and thin with the European Union and never have I lost my love for the European Union". "If we want more stability in our neighborhood then we must maintain a credible enlargement perspective for the Western Balkans", he said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pushed to expand Europe's global economic footprint in a sign of growing confidence that the political threats posed by Brexit and populism can be curtailed. His plan comes on the heels of a provisional EU free-trade accord with Japan and a week before a hard-fought European deal with Canada enters into force.

"If a foreign, state-owned company wants to buy a strategic port, or part of our energy infrastructure. this must be done transparently, with scrutiny and debate", Juncker said.

However, even if that was to happen, "Catalonia will not become an European Union member state on the day after such a vote".

In a passionate speech, Mr Junker remarked how the last time he had delivered the annual address the continent and its institutions "were not in a good state".

The European Commission president has given a speech in which he said the United Kingdom would soon regret its decision to break from Brussels, while the EU will get over it.

Calling for a summit in Romania on March 30, 2019, the first day of an European Union of 27 member states, rather than 28, Juncker said he hoped the continent would that day "wake up" to a more unified bloc.

Addressing the Parliament in response to Mr Juncker's speech, Mr Nigel Farage said: "All I can say is, "Thank God we're leaving".

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