Juncker delivered his last #SOTEU2018 speech. Here are my major takeaways in a tweet #thread @CER_EU
1. As media had previously reported #Juncker decided not to focus on what his Commission achieved but on what still needs to be done to convince European citizens to say 'Yes' to the EU when they go to the polls next year.
2. I agree that it is not a good moment for pats on the back and I agree with #Juncker that member-states have in many respects held the Commission up from delivering on Commission's promises.
3. Having said this Juncker #SOTEU2018 speech does not leave me reassured that the EU has a clue how to win Europeans hearts or at least their minds ahead of the European Parliament elections.
4. Listening to/ reading Juncker’s speech one can get an impression that the Commission thinks that it will achieve this predominantly by strengthening EU’s global role. In any case EU’s external affairs feature very high in his speech.
5. To me this suggests that EC has not perhaps realised that the biggest challenge to the EU does not come from outside but from inside.
6. Juncker deals with #Ruleoflaw only after global responsibility, external represent, security issues, partnership with Africa, and even Brexit. I know some will say that we shouldn't pay too much attention to the speech structure but I think this is usually indicative.
7. Since we are on the rule of law #Poland- is referred to in the #SOTEU2018 speech – albeit indirectly. Juncker rightly says that the CJEU verdicts need to be respected. For those who wonder what he has in mind the below tweet explains the context.
8. This part of the speech was probably influenced by comments by some cabinet members that PL might dismiss the CJEU judgement if it went against PiS judicial reforms. PL Foreign Minister has recently tried to mitigate reputat damage by saying that PL respects the CJEU rulings
9. But Juncker's speech suggests that his message has not got through.
10. Finally, those who thought that this #thread will have no mention of #Brexit might be disappointed. But I just have to say that UK's EU communication about Brexit is probably as bad as Poland's about the rule of law.
It looks like UK’s attempts to tell the EU that it would be held responsible for the hard boarder if there was no deal were not well received in #Berlaymont. Juncker reiterated today in #SOTEU2018 that the EU-27will not get tricked into this narrative.
12. On the positive note, Juncker said that the European Commission agreed with the statement in #Checquers that FREE TRADE AREA should be a starting point for the partnership. I wouldn't get too excited but I would read it as a signal that the EU is throwing PM May a bone. /END

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More from @AgataGostynska

Oct 8, 2018
The discussion in the EU about how to address the problem of the rule of law in PL has mainly focused on deploying punitive measures. This inspired me to write a paper for @Carnegie_Europe within its #Europeandemocracy project which calls on a more comprehensive strategy. #Thread
1.Don't get me wrong. The EU cannot turn a blind eye on democratic backsliding in its own members. EU treaties provide EC with legal instruments 2 address the problem&EC has been doing its job vis-à-vis. But it will fail to restore #ruleoflaw if it only sticks 2 punitive measures
2.The EC needs to ensure that the Polish public understands the EU’s motives for intervening. Poles are pro-European but they are vulnerable to the PiS narrative that Brussels has no right to tell Warsaw what to do ( I refer to some polling in the piece)
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