European leader Jean-Claude Juncker's proposed measures to stem the risk of "galloping populism" and stop the 28-country bloc from breaking up have been slammed as inadequate and insufficient.
During his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament, Juncker, the head of the European Union's executive arm, was, as expected, bullish about the region's future as well as recognizing that there were problems.
Mainly, he deplored the state of disunity in the EU, saying "never before have I seen such little common ground between our member states. So few areas where they agree to work together."
"Never before have I heard so many leaders speak only of their domestic problems, with Europe mentioned only in passing, if at all….Never before have I seen national governments so weakened by the forces of populism and paralysed by the risk of defeat in the next elections….Never before have I seen so much fragmentation, and so little commonality in our Union," Jean-Claude Juncker, State of the Union address.
Juncker also warned that unemployment was still too high and that Europe faced the risk of "galloping populism."
Still, rather than addressing popular dissatisfaction with the EU, as seen in the the Brexit vote, his strategies to address euroskepticism appeared absent. Rather, he proposed more unity and solidarity between the remaining member states.
"Do we give in to a very natural feeling of frustration? Do we allow ourselves to become collectively depressed? Do we want to let our Union unravel before our eyes? Or do we say: Is this not the time to pull ourselves together?... Is this not the time when Europe needs more determined leadership than ever, rather than politicians abandoning ship?," Jean-Claude Juncker, State of the Union address.