The nomination of “the top” candidates – Juncker and Schulz – is supposed to boost authenticity and competitiveness. Based on an assumption that when “the top” one wins, the opponent’s camp would be lighting up the fire. So, where is Juncker’s strong opposition?
With this in mind, we can assess his State of the Union speech. It was his last one as the chief Commissioner, the last one before the 2019 elections and the last one before the UK leave. There were strong symbols, yet nothing that can be considered a vision or a legacy.
There is a saying that people from the former Eastern block are marked by experiencing totalitarianism and ‘redneckness’, therefore they developed a sense for recognizing ideological hot air. And they sense it from Juncker and even more from the very fact that he has no real opposition.
In his speech, he only repeated what everybody already knew three years ago – the EU needs to better protect its external borders – adding that Schengen can only survive if the solidarity of all will show. When else should an opposition leap out and ask how is solidarity linked with the protection of external borders? Because when Poland, Slovakia and Hungary accessed the EU, Brussels asked them if they are able to protect the EU’s external border. However, when Hungary was the only country protecting them in 2015, it was chided.
It is totally understandable why the EU elites fear the 2019 election even more than those in 2014.