"I will express myself in French because, slowly but surely, English is losing importance in Europe," Juncker said at a conference in the Italian city of Florence.
He also praised the achievements made by the European Union, such as the establishment of peace after centuries of bloody conflicts in Europe, lowering unemployment and increasing economic growth, which is now twice higher than in the United States.
"And at that point — despite the success, despite the growth — our British friends decided to leave the EU, which is a tragedy. We shouldn't underestimate the importance of the decision made by the British people. It is no small event," Juncker continued.
He further clarified that the Brexit negotiations would be absolutely transparent.
In late March, the United Kingdom officially began its withdrawal process by handing a formal letter to European Council President Donald Tusk. According to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, London has two years to complete all relevant negotiations.
On April 26, UK Prime Minister Theresa May held a meeting with Juncker. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper, Juncker said at the end of the meeting that he was "10 times more skeptical than… before," about the chances of a successful EU-UK Brexit deal.
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