Juncker unveils EUR300 billion jobs and growth plan; Censure motion firmly rejected; Papal visit to EP





Edited Package
PTC opener John on Welcome to our round-up of the European Parliament plenary session here in Strasbourg, where the new Juncker Commission unveiled an ambitious 315-billion Euro plan... to kick-start the stagnating EU economy.
Meanwhile Jean-Claude Juncker faced down a censure motion from anti-EU MEPs over allegations his native Luxembourg enabled large-scale tax breaks for international big business while he was Prime Minister.
And in the midst of it all, Pope Francis came to Strasbourg to deliver his first public speech on the state of Europe.
We begin our coverage though on the Juncker package aimed at bringing growth and jobs back to the EU.
Archive John off Europe has seen investment declines of nearly 20% since the latest financial crisis began.
Now a new European Fund for Strategic Investment, drawn from the EU budget and European Investment Bank, would invest in higher risk projects to attract private capital.
Commission President Juncker said a lot was at stake with the ambitious investment plan.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Juncker on
Investing in Europe means much more than figures, projects, money, rules. It´s about people, mainly about those amongst our citizens who are unemployed.
We need to send a message to the people of Europe and to the rest of the world: Europe is back in business. This is not the moment to look back. Investment is about the future.

John off That investment places energy, transport and digital communications priorities front and center.
Commission estimates say it could add €400 billion to the EU's GDP and create up to 1.3 million new jobs in the next several years... to help build infrastructure previously held to be too financially risky.
EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber urged individual Member States to sign off on the plan.
Manfred Weber, EPP Group Chairman Weber on
09:42:30 Europe is keeping its promises. Through our own efforts within the EU we can manage to raise the 315 billion.
And that is why ladies and gentlemen we in the EPP Group stand behind the proposal of Jean Claude Juncker and the Commission. We want to look to new horizons. We want Europe to get moving. Today is a good day for Europe. Europa hält seine Zusage ein. Und mit unsere eigene Kraft können wir die 315 Milliarden stemmen. (cutaway)
Liebe Kollegin und Kollegen: die EVP steht hinter den Vorschlag von Jean Claude Juncker und der EU Kommission. Wir wollen dieses Aufbruchsignal, wir wollen das Europa durchstartet. Heute ist eine guter Tag für Europa.
John off President Juncker offered hope to those who had suffered most and had least access to investment funds, and their benefits, in the recent crisis.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Juncker on
09:29:37 Yes, Europe can still become the epicenter of a major investment drive. Yes, Europe can grow again and yes the European social model will persevere. Now that we are going in the right direction there will be no turning back.
PTC Censure Motion John on Seventy-six mainly far right and anti-EU MEPs brought the motion of censure against President Juncker over allegations he enabled tax breaks for big international businesses in Luxembourg during his time as Prime Minister.

John off In the end, six out of the seven political groupings in Parliament voted against the censure motion.
Juncker pointed out that he had made transparent and comprehensive tax reporting reform proposals long before the recent "Luxleaks" allegations emerged.
The Commission, Juncker added, would proceed with plans for an automatic exchange of national tax rulings across all 28 member states.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Juncker on
The problem is not merely Luxembourg`s but is rather a European economic one. I have proposed a certain number of changes in behaviour which we must adopt.
Le problème n'est pas seulement luxembourgeoise mais plus economique européen. J´ai proposé un certain nombre de changements du comportement que nous devrons adopter .
John off EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber also defended Juncker's stance, saying he had been ahead of the curve on tackling tax havens.
EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber Manfred Weber 17:42:32

My group wants tax justice. We want to bring an end to big companies able to dodge and wriggle their way out of their tax obligations.
And of course we also want to make headway on this and we need a Commission putting ideas on the table and taking initiatives.
That's what President Juncker has done, that's the intention of the Commission and thus he enjoys the EPP Group´s full support. Meine Fraktion will Steuergerechtigkeit. Wir wollen beenden, dass Grosskonzerne sich aus den, von ihrer Steuerlast zurückziehen und rausmogeln können. Und wir wollen aber auch dass wir vorankommen, und deshalb brauchen wir eine Kommission die Vorschläge am Tisch liegt, und Initiativen startet. Das hat Jean-Claude Juncker gemacht, das hat die Kommission vor, und dabei hat sie unsere volle Unterstützung die EVP Fraktion.
Pope Francis visit John on Pope Francis' whirlwind appearance was the first to the European Parliament since Pope John Paul the Second spoke here in 1988 and the Berlin Wall was on the verge of disappearing. Francis pointedly sought to rally an austerity-weary Europe he said had grown increasingly suspicious of EU institutions.
John off Pope Francis clearly revelled in his self-described role as "pastor", leading the Roman Catholic Church in a message that Europe must not lose its humanity or compassion for the less fortunate.
Before a packed Parliament chamber, Francis warned against social complacency in tackling high unemployment and growing poverty.
Pope Francis on

11:51 It's time for policies to promote employment, but there's also a need to promote dignity in work, by restoring proper working conditions. Finding new ways of combining market flexibility and the need for providing for the security of workers that are indispensable for their human development. Tempo di favorire le politiche di occupazione, ma soprattutto è necessario ridare dignità al lavoro, garantendo anche adeguate condizioni per il suo svolgimento. Ciò implica, da un lato, reperire nuovi modi per coniugare la flessibilità del mercato con le necessità di stabilità e certezza delle prospettive lavorative, indispensabili per lo sviluppo umano dei lavoratori.
John off The Pope also called on Parliament to exercise vigilance to protect European democracy from what he called the growing threat of political extremism and economic monopolies.
Pope Francis on
11:46 Keeping democracies alive is a challenge in the present historic moment. The true strength of our democracies -- understood as expressions of the political will of the people- must not be allowed to collapse under the pressure of multinational interests which are not universal. Those which weaken and turn them into uniform systems of economic power at the service of unseen empires. Mantenere viva la realtà delle democrazie è una sfida di questo momento storico, evitando che la loro forza reale -forza politica espressiva dei popoli– sia rimossa davanti alla pressione di interessi multinazionali non universali, che le indeboliscano e le trasformino in sistemi uniformanti di potere finanziario al servizio di imperi sconosciuti.
PTC Close
John on
That's all from this Plenary Session in Strasbourg. See you again soon in Brussels. And if you want to find out more about the largest political force in the European Parliament visit eppgroup.eu
Thanks for looking in and see you again soon.
Headline Juncker unveils EUR300 billion jobs and growth plan; Censure motion firmly Papal visit to EP
Description Against Papal visit backdrop, Juncker unveils for Parliament 300 billion Euro jobs and growth plan; easily survives EP censure motion vote.
Tags Jean-Claude Juncker; Pope Francis; Manfred Weber; EU investment plan; Censure motion; Papal visit; EPP Group; European Parliament; Strasbourg
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  • Ioannis Zografos
    EPP TV Managing Producer
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