Viewed from today, those concerns seem so, well, 2016.
That idea ran into immediate opposition from Denmark and the Netherlands, while an European Union official said it was an "old, rather wide-ranging idea" that would require a change to the EU's treaties.
In Strasbourg on Wednesday, Juncker portrayed the 28-member bloc as a bastion of stability in a fractured world, saying the union should assume an enhanced global leadership role as the USA steps back from the trans-Atlantic relationship.
The State of the Union address by the Commission president takes place annually before parliament so that MEPs may review the past work of the Commission while also identifying policy priority areas in the upcoming year.
"Let us make the most of the momentum, catch the wind in our sails", he said.
Setting out hopes for closer integration, Mr Juncker announced plans to increase passport-free movement around the European Union, expand use of the euro and boost the number of member states.
Mr Juncker said countries from around the world were "lining up at our door" to do trade deals with the European Union and that other accords such as those with Mexico and parts of South America were also on the table.
The former Luxembourg prime minister also proposed regulatory reforms aimed at protecting European businesses from undesired foreign takeovers and investment.
The opposition Labour Party had called on its lawmakers to vote against the Bill if the government failed to make concessions.
The future European finance minister would be in change of the new European Monetary Fund (EMF) as well, he said.
"What we are doing, and everybody has asked for this, is to set out how we see the new partnership the day after Brexit".
Juncker wants a single EU president to replace the heads of the European Commission - the EU's executive arm - and the European Council - which groups the heads of the 28 member states and is now headed by Poland's Donald Tusk. The inquiry includes a threat to strip the Polish government of its European Union voting rights. "That means that, in Europe, the law is safeguarded by an independent judiciary".
Mr Juncker set out proposals to merge his role with the presidency of the European Council, now held by Donald Tusk, saying it would make EU institutions clearer and more efficient.
"A Slovak deserves to have as much fish in fish fingers as anyone else", he said.
For the first time during his tenure as head of the European Commission, Juncker said Romania and Bulgaria should join the Schengen zone immediately, while Croatia should do so as soon as it meets the requirements.