Brussels, Sep 26 (AFP) European Commission chief Jean- Claude Juncker today welcomed French President Emmanuel’s vision for a reformed post-Brexit EU, saying the bloc required “courage” to move ahead.

“A very European speech by my friend Emmanuel Macron.

Europe needs courage. Thank you for your support for the work of the EU institutions,” Juncker, the head of the EU’s executive arm, said on Twitter.

“What we need now is a roadmap to advance the Union at 27. We have to openly discuss all ideas and decide before May 2019,” said Juncker, a former prime minister of Luxembourg.

Britain will leave the EU in March 2019, and European Parliament elections are due the following May or June.

Juncker has also called for a summit in the Romanian town of Sibiu the day after Brexit to draw up a roadmap for the way forward.

Macron’s speech at the Sorbonne university in Paris outlining a “profound transformation” of the bloc echoed many of the proposals that Juncker made in his annual State of the European Union speech this month.

Juncker’s cabinet chief, Martin Selmayr, said EU leaders would discuss Macron and Juncker’s plans for strengthening the eurozone at a summit in Brussels in December.

“Rarely Europe saw such convergence of views (between) a French President (and) a Commission President. Some nuances, yes. But also strong commonalities,” Selmayr tweeted.

One of those “nuances” was Macron’s call for the European Commission to be slimmed down from its current 28 members to 15. (AFP)

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.