EC President Ursula von der Leyen delivers annual State of the European Union speech


The 2021 State of the Union address by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is a central theme in this programme.

Before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Ursula von der Leyen outlined the most urgent tasks facing the community and the actions the Commission will take to address the challenges. The highlights include the ongoing battle with Covid-19, economic recovery, climate change and security and migration.

In the biggest global health crisis for a century, we chose to go it together so that every part of Europe got the same access to a life-saving vaccine, Ursula von der Leyen said in the speech. In the deepest global economic crisis for decades, we chose to go it together with NextGenerationEU. And in the gravest planetary crisis of all time, again we chose to go it together with the European Green Deal. We did that together as Commission, as Parliament, as 27 Member States. As one Europe. And we can be proud of it, she said.

The speech was followed by a debate in the European Parliament.

„There was indeed a lot of optimism in Ursula von der Leyen’s speech today. Even the critics of the speech said that the issues related to the challenges we face and the mistakes that the European Union has made in managing the crisis seem to be underestimated,“ said Ivailo Kalfin, a former member of the European Parliament and former minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in the first comment of the traditional address of the President of the European Commission to the European Parliament. According to Kalfin, who is now head of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, „this optimism is justified because if we look at the end result, the basis of Ursula von der Leyen’s speech was that Europe for the first time, especially compared to the previous crisis (in) 2008, did much better, in much more organized manner. She reminded that after 2008 it took 8 years for the economy to recover, and now we are returning to pre-crisis levels in just one year.“

Watch the whole conversation with Ivailo Kalfin in the video.