by Nick Gutteridge
March 02, 2017

from Express Website




Jean-Claude Juncker

said the EU will 'never become a state'



Brussels 'boss' Jean-Claude Juncker

today vowed the European Union

will "never become a state"

as eurocrats embarked on

an unprecedented listening exercise with voters

over the future direction of the EU.


The EU Commission chief insisted any dreams some politicians may have of a United States of Europe are dead and buried amid voter apathy about the project and growing divisions amongst its member states on,

  • migration

  • Brexit

  • trade

He admitted that he was once a federalist himself, but said he now appreciated that ordinary Europeans will not accept the imposition of a superstate by the back door and that Brussels must allow national governments a greater say on Europe-wide policy.


Mr Juncker's remarks came after he launched an historic white paper on how to save the struggling project yesterday, which unusually consisted of a massive consultation exercise on five "pathways" for the future.

Unlike in previous years the Commission and its chief have flatly refused to express a preference for how they want the EU to move forward, save to say that they do not believe a return to a simple trading alliance would be the right course of action.

The EU boss made the remarks

at a press conference in Slovenia


Mr Juncker berated MEPs

for their reaction to his white paper

Eurocrats, who are unelected, have been stung by a fall in voter support for the bloc and repeated accusations that this has been caused by a dictatorial approach of loftily handing down decrees without consulting citizens.

But some MEPs have criticized the plan saying that eurocrats should have taken a strong stance on the issue and simply handed down a solution, prompting an exasperated Mr Juncker to berate them and demand:

"Sh*t, what do you want us to do?"

The Brussels boss addressed the criticism further today during a visit to one of the club's newest members, Slovenia, where he discussed the future of the EU, migration and Brexit with prime minister Miro Cerar.

No, no, no,

we'll never become a state
Jean-Claude Juncker

He said:

"I know from my past experience as prime minister in Luxembourg that in smaller member states people don't believe, our citizens don't believe that their country has an influence. Slovenia has an influence and is a positive actor in the EU.

"Smaller member states, they should not try to gain some importance by saying no.


Smaller member states have to be a force of proposals, trying to bring European integration to its very end without wanting to give the impression that European Union is something like United States of America.

"No, no, no, we'll never become a state. I used to be a federalist when I was 15 but that's a long time ago as you can see."

He added:

"Now I do think that the EU has to be constructed not against nations and member states, but together with nations and member states.

"That's of importance to smaller member states because small member states, bigger member states they're equal in rights and they have the same dignity."

On the mixed reaction to his white paper (White Paper on the Future of Europe - Reflections and scenarios for the EU27 by 2025), he said:

"For once we did not do as we are usually doing. We are not imposing, dictating, prescribing a recipe for the continent.

"We are submitting to the meditation of the member states and we would like to see a huge debate taking place in the next month."

During the press conference Mr Cerar said that tackling "issues of security and irregular migration" was his country's number one concern and that unless they are solved there will be no progress in other policy areas