President Juncker Prague while attending the high-level conference on defence and security in Prague, 9.06.2017. He delivered a keynote speech on Europe in which underlined that feeling safe and secure in your own home “is the most basic and universal of rights”.
The European Union has “promoted peace, universal values and inclusive growth right around the world”, President Juncker said, “but it is time to go further”. In today’s world, a strong NATO, a strong European Union and a strong relationship between the two, “are more important than they ever have been before” President Juncker said, adding that by stepping up their efforts on defence, and by doing so together, the Member States of the Union will strengthen the ties that bind the Allies within NATO.
“The protection of Europe can no longer be outsourced” President Juncker said, “Europe has no other choice than to defend our own interests in the Middle East, in climate change and in our trade agreements“.This is why the European Commission has proposed a European Defence Fund, to improve the efficiency of European defence spending, and it is why the Commission has proposed that the Union use the legal means at its disposal to move away from the current patchwork of bilateral and multilateral military cooperation to more efficient forms of defence integration.
“I am talking about permanent structured cooperation, the Sleeping Beauty of the Lisbon Treaty […] The time to make use of this possibility is now”, President Juncker said, concluding that Europeans are in favour of a common security and defence policy, “they want their Union to do more to protect them from threats old and new, and it is time we listened”.