President von der Leyen sets out the Commission’s priorities ahead of the December European Council at the European Parliament

© European Union, 2020, Source: Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources© European Union, 2020, Source: Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources

This morning, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, addressed the European Parliament Plenary ahead of the European Council meeting which will take place in two weeks, on 10-11 December. The President updated MEPs on Brexit and the current situation regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework and NextGenerationEU: “These are decisive days for our negotiations with the United Kingdom. But I cannot tell you today, if in the end there will be a deal. The next days are going to be decisive. The European Union is well prepared for a no-deal-scenario, but of course we prefer to have an agreement. I fully trust in the skillful steer of our chief negotiator Michel Barnier. At the same time the Union is waiting for the green light for our next Multiannual Financial Framework and NextGenerationEU. We owe our citizens a swift response, especially to those who had to close temporarily their restaurants and shops for the good of all of us. To those whose existence is threatened. To people who are worried about their job.” President von der Leyen also mentioned the Commission’s efforts to secure a coronavirus vaccine: “But there is also good news. The European Commission by now has secured contracts with six companies. The first European citizens might already be vaccinated before the end of December. There is finally light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are important, but what counts are vaccinations. Member states must get ready now. Because this is our ticket out of this pandemic. From Brexit to the fight against the pandemic, from the budget to the fight against terrorists – it is when we manage to join forces, that we Europeans can achieve most. It is when we negotiate hard and then stick to the compromises found, that we move forward best. This is how we will finally leave the Corona world, and continue to build our future.” To conclude, President von der Leyen reiterated the EU’s strong support to the countries that were hit by recent terrorist attacks: “Europe is in solidarity with the French and the Austrians. Europe is united in the face of terrorist attacks in the heart of our cities. And Europe is ready to act.” Watch the speech back here, read the full speech here.