Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Juncker: Total nonsense to claim I want a superstate

Juncker: Total nonsense to claim I want a superstate

Although Juncker had quite literally just shared his grand plan of a bigger EU budget and his ideal vision of a directly-elected EU president, Juncker concluded by saying, "the European Union can not be built against the European nations, so this is total nonsense". The Commission wants an agreement from European Union governments on the budget by May 2019.

The EU budget has previously been capped at around 1 per cent of the bloc's economic output, while the current seven-year budget totals around 1 billion Euros.

"Let's first discuss about the Europe we want".

"But expenditure will need to rise above 1.1 per cent of gross national income for the European Union to be serious about its ambitions", Oettinger warned.

French President Emmanuel Macron called a year ago a euro zone budget of several hundred billion euros financed from taxes while Germany did not want any separate budget at all.

The euro zone budget line would finance structural reforms at national level and help countries still outside the euro zone to bring their economies closer to the single currency area.

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Separately, there should be money available for a "stabilisation function" for the euro zone to help protect its members from crises.

The Commission proposal is a compromise between the positions of France and Germany and builds on proposals of Klaus Regling, the head of the euro zone bailout fund ESM, which is to be transformed into the European Monetary Fund.

To put pressure on countries such as Poland, where the Commission believes the government is not respecting the rule of law and is violating its constitution and undermining the independence of courts, money from the next budget should be conditional on respecting such democratic values.

The commission presented a "menu" of options on Wednesday.

Portugal, Spain, France and Greece will get money in the wake of 2017 disasters.

Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger added, for his part, that the MFF had to be given priority in the European Parliament and the European Council.

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