On 13 September, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (unelected) held his State of the Union Address for 2017. It opens with Juncker asserting that after the crisis in 2016, the European Union has had a year in which it turned the situation around. Het starts a theme, helpfully printed in bold lettering to help the reader pick his metaphor, of the helping the wind change, so that now the wind is back in Europe’s sails.
This means that the EU must catch the wind in [its] sails, so it can stay the course set out last year and chart the direction for the future. He mixes in a few others about a ‘window of opportunity’, sorry, window of opportunity, and an economy that’s bouncing back, but the nautical theme is strongest.
Under the heading ‘Staying the course’, Juncker claims that the EU cannot let itself be “blown off course.” He then lists the five proposals for the next year which he regards as particularly important:
1) Strengthening the European trade agenda,
2) Making industry stronger and more competitive,
3) Wanting the EU to be a leader when it comes to fighting climate change,
4) Better protection for Europeans in the digital age, and finally,
5) Migration will stay on our radar.