Government wants to remain in EU cyber security club after Brexit

Government wants to remain in EU cyber security club after Brexit

In a bid to enhance the EU's global role, Juncker said he would ask governments for the authority to begin market-opening negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.

The United Kingdom will offer to contribute military assets to European Union operations after it leaves the bloc as part of a "deep security partnership" partnership.

But he said there had to be reciprocity in trade deals: "We have to get as much as much as we give".

With populism at bay and the economy on the upswing, Juncker's annual State of the Union speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, is expected to strike a far more optimistic note than a year ago.

Regarding Turkey, Juncker wasn't too positive, because in the European Union "the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights" took priority and "that rules out European Union membership for Turkey for the foreseeable future".

In his speech, Juncker is expected to address the issue of globalization, blamed by many for job losses and the rise of populist politicians.

He also suggested making his successors as chief executives also the chairs of EU summits, fusing the roles of presidents of the European Commission and that of the European Council so as to make EU structures more comprehensible at home and overseas.

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.

"I want decisions in the Council (of European Union ministers) to be taken more often and more easily by qualified majority", Juncker said.

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Juncker said the European Union should create its own Europe-wide finance minister to deepen integration of the eurozone.

The plan fulfils a request by French President Emmanuel Macron, backed by Germany and Italy, that Brussels draw up a strategy to counter a wave of takeovers by Chinese companies in Europe. "We are going to make progress".

Responding to Mr Juncker's comments, Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman said: "What we are absolutely focused on is making the best of the opportunities provided by Brexit".

"The wind is back in Europe's sails".

Reflecting on the economic and political challenges that the continent had faced in recent years, he said the "wind is back in Europe's sails". Juncker said, however, that while Europe favoured open commerce, it needed reciprocity from its trading partners.

Juncker ruled out for the "foreseeable future" Turkey's membership bid, due to the post-coup crackdown by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Cyberattacks are sometimes more risky for the stability of democracies and economies than guns and tanks", he said.

The president said it was "high time" Bulgaria and Romania joined the Schengen area - a move that would grant citizens freedom of movement within the bloc.

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