STATE OF THE UNION: Strengthening Europe’s soul

© European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service, Ursula von der Leyen© European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service, Ursula von der Leyen

This morning, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, delivered her second State of the Union address in the European Parliament. The President put the focus of her speech on Europe’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis and on what the European Union needs to do for a lasting recovery delivering benefits to all – from health preparedness, the social dimension, technological leadership, to a defence union. President von der Leyen described how Europe can secure a lasting recovery by preparing itself to deal with future health crises, thanks to the HERA authority, by helping the world get vaccinated, and by making sure that the economic recovery is sustained and benefits everyone. The President also underlined the importance of staying true to our values and made a point of Europe’s duty to care for the most vulnerable, standing up for media freedom, reinforcing the rule of law in our Union and empowering our youth. That is why she proposed making 2022 the Year of European Youth. Europe will continue acting in the world with the common good in mind. That is why President von der Leyen committed to continue working to encourage global partners to act on climate change. Furthermore, in the face of the recent developments in Afghanistan, the President announced increased humanitarian aid to Afghans and laid out the importance for Europe to build its own defence capabilities. The speech is available online here in all EU languages. Learn more about the main achievements of the von der Leyen Commission in the past year and visit the dedicated website.