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Juncker to name on EU to flex global muscle as U.S. retreats

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union ought to flex its potential energy as a world energy because the United States underneath President Donald Trump pulls again from worldwide engagement, EU chief government Jean-Claude Juncker is predicted to say on Wednesday.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker speaks about commerce relations with U.S. President Donald Trump within the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

An EU official accustomed to the European Commission president’s annual State of the Union tackle to the European Parliament in Strasbourg mentioned a key theme can be “sovereignty,” or Europe’s collective capability to form world coverage.

“Juncker wants the EU to punch above, not below, its weight,” the official mentioned.

With the EU nonetheless wounded by Britain’s imminent withdrawal, rising nationalism elsewhere and feuding over immigration and democratic values with right-wing jap leaders like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Juncker will insist the bloc is extra united than it could appear and may use that to form the world to its tastes.

As he begins a remaining yr in workplace that may see Europeans elect a brand new EU legislature in May, the veteran former premier of Luxembourg might seek advice from his profitable bid to speak Trump out of an instantaneous tariff warfare in July and spotlight new curiosity from China in working with Brussels to maintain world commerce flowing free.

Pointing to questions in lots of international locations over Washington’s position because the global financial chief, Juncker may additionally say the euro ought to be higher promoted as a world forex, querying why EU vitality imports, for instance, are principally priced in when nearly none of them come from the United States.

He will name for a full completion of an EU commerce pact with Japan by May, certainly one of a number of offers that’s consolidating the EU on the coronary heart of an online of global agreements on requirements as Trump has turned Washington in opposition to multilateral obligations. And a future EU-Africa free commerce space might even get a point out.

Africa ought to be helped with commerce and funding moderately than depend on support, Juncker will say, whereas additionally proposing to beef up Europe’s defences in opposition to poor Africans heading north. He needs to create a totally Brussels-run European Border and Coast Guard with a full-time energy of 10,000 to assist hold again financial migrants whose arrival has fuelled anti-EU nationalism.

Worries over how far hostile events inside and outdoors the European Union may attempt to manipulate the EU elections additionally lie behind a proposal to impose fines on politicians caught dishonest on knowledge safety guidelines and to beef up oversight of campaigning.

Juncker’s legislative proposals will face scrutiny in Parliament and from member states, with a few of the latter cautious of a plan to scrap their veto over some areas of overseas coverage in an effort to present the EU a nimbler actor in global diplomacy.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; @macdonaldrtr; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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