Jean Claude Juncker is one of the key people responsible for what the European Union is today, although it still faces great challenges. If you look back five years when his term began to run, the difference is noticeable. Europe emerged from the economic and financial crisis that then gripped the world and led to the worst recession in the sixty-year history of the European Union, and the Commission predicted 1.4% GDP growth in the European Union last week in 2019, 2020 and 2021. EU employment is at a record high and unemployment has been the lowest since the beginning of the century. The results achieved have created a positive economic climate for each Member State, including Croatia, which is projected to grow GDP by 2.9% in 2019, which will have a direct positive impact on the standard of citizens.
In addition, the European Union has concluded agreements with 72 countries, such as agreements with Canada (CETA), Japan and MERCOSUR. But while the Union economy accounts for as much as 40% of world GDP, its impact in the world could and should be greater. There are also benefits from the Digital Single Market, roaming fees, abolished geoblocking, 5G technology is being accelerated, the Galileo satellite navigation system is in full operation, and the WiFi4EU initiative, free internet access in public places, has benefited more than 300 municipalities and towns in Croatia. What President Juncker thinks he failed to accomplish are migration issues, while he sees Brexit as the most difficult and disappointing moment in his term, which has not yet ended.
The European Commission, led by President-elect von der Leyen, already has a clear vision and ambitious priorities, especially in the area of environment and digitization.
In anticipation of the start of the new Commission, this office and other European institutions, together with their Croatian partners, are in a hurry to prepare for the start of Croatia's EU presidency.