State of the Union: Europe in the last chance saloon, warns EU president Jean-Claude Juncker

Press quote (The Telegraph)
Rem Korteweg
08 September 2015

He [Junker] first held ministerial office aged 28, and his strength is his longevity, according to Dr Rem Korteweg of the CER. He adds the slap-stick routine is an ice-breaker that disguises his political skill. "He knows all these individual leaders and their predecessors, and the predecessors of their predecessors. He is the grandfather of the eurozone."Many analysts argue the crises have demonstrated that the central European institutions of the euro and the Schengen zone were built without shock absorbers, and are vulnerable to fragmentation along national lines at the first sign of crisis. Many in Europe now conclude far steeper integration is necessary if the project is to survive; or as Mr Juncker puts it, "more Europe".

Dr Korteweg likens the circling crises to Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

"This is the new normal. The expectation that we will have a lull in events that take us off guard would give us a false sense of security. We will be in this permanent state of firefighting," Dr Korteweg adds.

Despite Mr Juncker's calls for collective action, the year has exposed the weakness of the EU’s executive, Dr Korteweg said, citing the inability to punish Viktor Orban's Hungary for declaring asylum seekers a threat to Christian Europe. "They don’t have levers inside the EU to put someone in the quiet corner. There is no real way to suspend his vote or fine him."