Ursula von der Leyen’s annual speech – read between the lines


Ms Ursula von der Leyen’s address in many respects repeats her first message from the previous year, as the main problems were the same. In this year’s address, however, she focused on the vaccination process, former Deputy Foreign Minister Milen Keremedchiev commented.

She believes that this is the main way to deal with all crises – both economic and political in the European Union, said Keremedchiev.

According to her, the big difference in vaccination levels in the EU member states is worrying. „She  was tacitly referring to Bulgaria, as we are in the last place, with 20%  vaccinated,“ Keremedchiev explained, adding that he expects the pressure on our country for vaccination to increase in the coming weeks.

The former Deputy Foreign Minister predicts that the Bulgarian government, no matter it is a caretaker one, will be urged by the EU to move to mandatory vaccination of certain groups of people.

He also commented on that part of Ursula von der Leyen’s speech, which says that European countries have big differences in terms of migrant pressure. According to von der Leyen, we must stop illegal migration, but we must give asylum to those who seek it in legal ways.

As regards the common defence system, this is a very difficult to achieve, commented Milen Keremedchiev, but it corresponds to the forthcoming presidency of France next year. In the year of France, initial negotiations will begin to create a force to coordinate with NATO and the United States.