The State of the Union 2017: Catching the wind in our sails
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today delivered his 2017 State of the Union Address, before the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, presenting his priorities for the year ahead and outlining his vision for how the European Union could evolve by 2025 (see full speech). He presented a Roadmap for a More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union (see Roadmap Factsheet). European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said today: “The wind is back in Europe’s sails. But we will go nowhere unless we catch that wind. (…) We should chart the direction for the future. As Mark Twain wrote, years from now we will be more disappointed by the things we did not do, than by the ones we did. Now is the time to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe for 2025.” President Juncker‘s speech in the European Parliament was accompanied by the adoption of concrete initiatives by the European Commission on trade, investment screening, cybersecurity, industry, data and democracy, putting words immediately into action. A series of factsheets published today also expand on some of the key elements touched upon in the President’s speech. A full press release is available online.
Second quarter of 2017 compared with the first quarter of 2017 – Employment up by 0.4% in both the euro area and in the EU28 – +1.6% and +1.5% respectively compared with the second quarter of 2016
The number of persons employed increased by 0.4% in both the euro area (EA19) and in the EU28 in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the first quarter of 2017, employment increased by 0.5% in both areas. These figures are seasonally adjusted. Full text available here
Commission welcomes agreement in principle to extend and reinforce Investment Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
One year after President Juncker announced the proposal in his State of the Union speech, the European Parliament and Member States have come to an agreement in principle on the extension and strengthening of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Investment Plan for Europe. The agreement extends the EFSI’s duration as well as increases its financial capacity. Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Tonight’s agreement means that the new and improved European Fund for Strategic Investments – or EFSI 2.0 – will benefit European citizens until at least 2020. The EFSI has already reached all 28 Member States, supporting key public and private investment projects and financing a huge range of small businesses and start-ups. I thank the Council and the Parliament for their hard work and commitment on this important piece of legislation. With its increased firepower and duration, the EFSI will continue to be an important driving force in the EU’s economic recovery.” The draft EFSI 2.0 Regulation that has been agreed in principle still has to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. For more information about the agreement, see our full press release