Daily Management Review

EU Chiefs Deny Split Over Bloc's Future and says We’re Line One Fist


EU Chiefs Deny Split Over Bloc's Future and says We’re Line One Fist
Any conflicting visions over how the bloc should combat euroskepticism and the risk of a break-up were denied by the European Union's top officials.
Despite the two leaders offering diverging views of whether there should be, in Juncker's view, "more Europe" and "more unity" or, as Tusk said, an honest look at the direction the EU is taking and the danger of alienating its citizens further, on the eve of an EU summit in Bratislava on Friday, European Council President Donald Tusk said that he and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker were like "one fist" and that was "no problem" between them.
Amid a tide of “galloping populism’, European integration had to come before the interests of national states, Juncker said in his annual "State of the Union" address on Wednesday. Member states increasingly critical of the leaning towards more political integration and a "supranational" EU and Europe is facing increasing euroskepticism among its citizens.
Leaders could not start discussions with "this kind of blissful conviction that nothing is wrong and everything is ok", said Donald Tusk on the eve of an EU summit in Bratislava.
He insisted that he and Juncker's visions for Europe were the same, however.
"I'm absolutely sure that we have the same vision because what we need first of all in Europe today is good cooperation, solidarity and this political will to cooperate among member states. But at the same time we need very effective institutions and believe me, me and Jean-Claude Juncker we are like one fist."
Discussions in Bratislava will focus on the root causes of dissatisfaction and fragmentation between member states over controversial issues like the migration crisis and on the future of the EU in the wake of the U.K.'s vote to leave and not specifically about Brexit or the exit process which has yet to formally begin. Complacency over the future of the EU was not an option, Tusk told reporters.
"I'm absolutely sure that, after Bratislava, we have to assure our citizens that we have learned the lesson from Brexit," Tusk said. 

As they arrived in Bratislava for the summit, EU leaders and ministers were determined to put a united front. 

The Brexit was "a loss for the whole of EU but we have to work from that and show that we can unite," said Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and added that the Brexit vote was regrettable.

He said that the bloc needed to coordinate on security and Juncker's call for a "stronger" EU was correct.
It was "time to achieve some progress on the real issues (facing Europe) which are migration, security and social welfare and I'm quite optimistic that we'll have good progress today," said Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern.
EU had to stick together - despite different stances on issues such as the migrant crisis, Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, also said.
"We are in a family. We are together in the family. If we have some problems in the family we have to discuss it in the family and not kick someone out," Bettel told CNBC as he arrived for the meeting.