Trade and investment feature high in Juncker’s final State of the EU speech

The European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his final State of the European Union speech during the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg. Trade and investment issues featured high on his agenda, as well as the need for a stronger and unified EU, better equipped to navigate geopolitical tensions, negotiate trade accords, tackle threats to multilateralism, and to better champion shared objectives, such as climate action. Juncker called for the bloc to swiftly ratify its trade accord with Japan, in time for the 9 May 2019 summit of European leaders in Sibiu, Romania. He also advocated for a revised, comprehensive approach to EU’s trade and investment relationship with the African continent, which could spark a “continent-to-continent free trade agreement”.