The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has been trying to rally support for the EU saying the bloc isn't about to break up. But, as David Pollard reports, the Brexit referendum has caused an existential crisis and many economic challenges.
It could be mistaken for a funeral procession driving into the European Parliament. But no, the EU's not dead - just in recovery after its recent trauma, according to its senior voice. (SOUNDBITE) (German) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "Our friends world-wide wonder whether Brexit is the beginning of the breakdown of the European Union. We respect and regret the U.K. decision. But the European Union is not at risk." That's not to say there aren't risks. Jean-Claude Juncker's State of the Union address heard as a rallying cry ... Stick together if the EU is to make it through a 'polycrisis' spanning fiscal policy, migration, and security threats. And what he called 'galloping populism.' (SOUNDBITE) (French) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "History will not remember us, but it will remember our mistakes. Let's not be guilty of mistakes that would put an end to the European dream." Economists, meanwhile, zeroed in on Juncker's pledge of no 'a la carte' Brexit deal for Britain. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "What Brexit has done has highlighted the divisions among EU member states and ultimately for all his rhetoric about more Europe, more Europe is the last thing Europe needs right now, or the EU needs right now." But it could perhaps do with more cash. Juncker proposing to double a new European investment fund to 630 billion euros by 2022. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Monetary policy does appear to be reaching its limits, certainly in terms of how low yields can go, and certainly the impact it's having on banking balance sheets ... Ultimately it's down to politicians now to embark on significant structural reform." But elections loom in France and Germany, Britain's exit deal hangs in the balance. Deep structural reform is the one thing politicians may not want to force on voters. The EU motoring on for now - though many may wonder what's around the next corner.