Honourable Members of the European Parliament,
Today is the first time during my mandate as President of the European Commission that I have the honour to address this House on the State of our European Union.
I would therefore like to recall the political importance of this very special institutional moment.
The State of the Union address is foreseen explicitly by the Framework Agreement that governs the relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission. This Agreement provides that “[e]ach year in the first part-session of September, a State of the Union debate will be held in which the President of the Commission shall deliver an address, taking stock of the current year and looking ahead to priorities for the following years. To that end, the President of the Commission will in parallel set out in writing to Parliament the main elements guiding the preparation of the Commission Work Programme for the following year.”