- Title: Docking EU funds not the only way to ensure member state compliance -Juncker
- Date: 1st June 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (JUNE 1, 2017) (REUTERS) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER SITTING DOWN AUDIENCE EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (German) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "We must find common ground with the Chinese. We have explained to Mr. Trump in Taormina that it would not be good for the world and the U.S. if America were to abandon the world stage because the vacuum will be replaced. And the Chinese are pushing when it comes to taking over leadership. I prefer to move forward together with our American ally, instead of now having to switch. Anyway, we need China in these overall climate proceedings, because China is the biggest polluter in this regard." JUNCKER SPEAKING AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (German) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING (ON GERMAN PROPOSAL TO FOR NEW REGULATIONS FREEZING ACCESS TO EU FUNDS): "I am of the opinion that this should not be done. Not because I do not want to do that sometimes. I would love to do that, but I do not think of this new way of introducing bacteria into the European Union. We should try to convince our Polish and other friends that solidarity is not a one-way street and draw attention to the fact that without a change in the treaty this could have financial implications, I am not for it because I think it is poison for the continent." AUDIENCE SPD CHANCELLOR CANDIDATE MARTIN SCHULZ SITTING DOWN SCHULZ DURING WELCOME APPLAUSE AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPD CHANCELLOR CANDIDATE, MARTIN SCHULZ, SAYING: "You can say in a trade agreement, if you want to have access to our market, and the European market is the biggest of the world, you must also respect European standards. That was one of the reasons why I was explicitly for a free trade agreement, through which we could safeguard our standards. Germany cannot do this alone. Europe must do it together, that's why I believe we have to face Trump in this way. If he wants to leave the climate pact, then we must talk openly about trade relations and market distortions that are connected to it." AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (German) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "Other things you have to do through an agreement. There are some suggestions, by the Commission and also by the French president, which need some alterations to contract to be able to be effective. You can't just simply put a European finance minister out there out of the blue, you also have to know what he should do." SESSION ENDING
- Embargoed: 15th June 2017 13:24
- Keywords: Paris Agreement climate change access to EU funds freeze access rule of law
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016JG4P53
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday (June 1) he was against a German proposal to link future EU funds to the condition that member states stick to rule of law principles.
With the EU debating reform of the bloc after Britain leaves it, Germany's government has set out proposals to freeze access to EU funds for countries that fail to meet the EU's rule of law standards, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Asked during a Europe conference in Berlin if he backed the German proposal, Juncker said: "I'm of the opinion that this should not be done."
He also said that the most urgent task currently facing the EU was completing the jointly agreed capital market and banking union by 2019 and that deepening euro zone cooperation should come later.
Juncker repeated that Europe had to make clear to the United States that quitting the Paris climate agreement was not a straightforward process, adding that fully leaving the deal would take three to four years and the EU would have to take the lead role in fighting climate change together with other allies in that case.
Speaking at the same event, Germany's centre-left candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz said that if Trump quit the climate pact, U.S. producers would gain a competitive advantage over their European rivals. The EU would have to respond to market distortions of this kind, he added.
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