by Matthew Holehouse
22 October 2015

from TheTelegraph Website

Spanish version

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The European Union

faces an age of comparative economic decline,

while the 'love' affair' of integration is at risk,

says Jean-Claude Juncker



Luxembourg, which was headed by

Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker,

has failed to comply with the directive


The European Union faces long-term economic decline and the "love affair" of integration is at risk, Jean Claude-Juncker has said in a downbeat assessment of the bloc's future.

"Economically, we see the end of Europe's glorious years compared with what others are doing," the president of the European Commission said.

The "dream" of a unified continent is at risk from "fissures and fractures" of national divisions and separatist movements, he said.

"The European Union is not going very well," Mr Juncker said. "And so we must ensure that we keep alive the ambitions, hopes and dreams of Europe."

The EU's share of global output is falling and will soon represent just 15 per cent of worldwide gross domestic product, while 80 per cent of growth is emerging from countries outside the European Union, he said.

With an ageing population, Europe's share of the world's population has fallen from 20 per cent a century ago to seven per cent now, and could be just four per cent by the end of this century when the world reaches ten billion people.

"We are demographically weakened, and will remain so," added Mr Juncker, the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

The warning over Europe's comparative decline closely mirrors that of pro-Brexit campaigners who argue the UK should build ties with emerging economies rather than be "shackled to a corpse".

However, Mr Juncker said it underlined the need for Europe to "stay together".

"The time has not arrived for us to re-divide the national leagues and classes," he said in an address in Madrid.

David Cameron has pointed to the risk of European decline to push for more ambitious trade deals with the US and Far East, and the removal of national barriers in services and digital technologies, as part of his renegotiation drive:


EU Reform - The Key Demands



The Prime Minister's key demands for EU reform:

Iconic changes

Getting an opt-out for Britain from the EU's founding principle of "ever closer union". This is intended to ensure the UK is never forced to join a new European superstate

The euro

Explicitly writing into the European treaties that the EU is a multi-currency union, deleting references to the euro as the EU's official currency

Practical changes

Repatriating powers from Brussels to Britain, giving Parliament more autonomy and scaling back the influence of EU law on domestic affairs. Detailed work is already under way on this and European officials are understood to be considering calls for a so-called "red card" system to allow parliaments to block new EU directives

Major structural reforms

To prevent the Eurozone countries forcing new rules on the nine other member states including Britain that are not in the single currency. Work has begun in Paris and Germany on drafting new arrangements that would guarantee protections for the City of London

Others in Brussels argue the cure for economic malaise is radical economic integration to a degree that Britain would never tolerate.

The prospect of demographic, and therefore economic, decline has persuaded some European officials that the refugee crisis is a blessing in disguise.

EU's share of global GDP is falling:





Mr Juncker likened the European project to the vale of tears, the Biblical term for the sorrows of life on earth.

"When I'm on another continent, I see eyes shine when those I visit talk about Europe. And when I return to Brussels or Luxembourg, I find myself in a valley of fears, a valle Lacrimarum. We do not know who we are, and we are not proud of the solid achievements of our predecessors."

In a separate speech to the European People's Party, Mr Juncker said he would focus on 'social Europe' – that is, employment rights – to win the support of "simple" people.

"We can't lose the people who always believed in us, the simple people who work, who aren't any less intelligent than the elites. They've always supported Europe and it is about reconquering their heart."

British dependency on EU trade is at a record low:





Frans Timmermans, Mr Juncker's deputy, warned of a crisis of support for the EU.

"What was unimaginable before now becomes imaginable, namely the disintegration of the European project," he told the Friends of Europe forum in Brussels.


"The European ideals still have very strong support among the population across Europe. What do not have strong support are European politicians and European politics."

EU Who's Who



Pictures: AFP, Getty, Patrick Seeger/EPA, Reuters


1. Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm. Former Prime Minister of Luxembourg for 18 years. Federalist and bon viveur

2. Donald Tusk
President of the European Council, the summit of 28 member states. Tough former Polish Prime Minister, still finding his feet in Brussels

3. Frans Timmermans
First Vice President of the European Commission. Former Dutch foreign minister. Realist who embraces Britain's desire for greater competitiveness and less ideology

4. Martin Schulz
President of the European Parliament. Veteran German socialist and furious critic of Cameron's renegotiation

5. Mario Draghi
Powerful Italian president of the European Central Bank and former Goldman Sachs banker. His institution was criticised for pushing Greece to the brink of a euro exit this summer

6. Federica Mogherini
High Representative, the EU's foreign secretary. Former Italian socialist foreign minister.







If they were genuinely seeking the culprits responsible for Europe's economic decline, Juncker and his colleagues in the so-called European Commission need look no further than themselves and their predecessors.


By running a corporate-led dictatorship (below image), designed using a Nazi blueprint in which the people of Europe are able to elect neither their president nor the executive level, Juncker and his fellow bureaucrats have no right to expect the trust of the people.





Ultimately, the 'Brussels EU' model therefore needs to be replaced by a Europe for the People, by the People in which protecting the health and lives of people, rather than the profits of corporate interests, is given the highest priority.