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President Juncker welcomes the election of European Parliament President Tajani

Source: European Commission (EC), published on Wednesday, January 18 2017.

Today, on the occasion of the presentation of the programme of the Maltese presidency to the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Antonio Tajani, a "convinced European", upon his election as President of the European Parliament.

In an address to the European Parliament, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker "warmly" congratulated Antonio Tajani, a former Vice-president of the European Commission, upon his election as President of the European Parliament. He praised the "know-how" of the newly elected President, and at the same time paid tribute to his predecessor, Martin Schulz, who was "a great European whom Europe owes a lot".

Speaking on Brexit and yesterday's speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May, President Juncker stated: "I welcome the clarifications provided yesterday by the British Prime Minister. I told her that a speech alone does not trigger negotiations. (…) As far as I am concerned, I will do my utmost so that this negotiation leads to a balanced solution, in full compliance with our rules".

Jean-Claude Juncker also voiced the support of the European Commission to the programme of the Maltese Presidency of the EU, in particular on initiatives related to migration and the refugee crisis. He said: “The programme of the Maltese Presidency is totally in line with the intentions of the European Commission. We are swimming in the same direction,” adding that while Malta may be a small country it had great ambitions for the next six months.

Joseph Muscat, Antonio Tajani and Jean-Claude Juncker also held a joint press conference following the presentation of the programme of the Maltese Presidency to European Parliament.