In 2010, the then president of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, delivered the first speech on the state of the European Union. Initially, it was focused on promoting EU milestones.
Now it has become the moment for set priorities and goals for the coming year. It also provides an annual opportunity to reflect on what was promised last year. The 2020 speech was Ursula von der Leyen’s first and was harshly criticized by European analysts.
“He barely mentioned vaccines and said nothing about the covid passport. These are things that have been on the agenda in the last 12 months. So the predictions about covid that can be gleaned from his latest State of the Union address are my limited. PBut when it comes to climate, the Commission has delivered. And now the ball is in the court of the Member States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 “, believes EU blogger Jon Worth.
In July, the European Commission presented an extensive list of climate proposals. Just as von der Leyen promised he would. It included a proposal to end the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2035.
Von der Leyen also spoke in 2020 about the need for EU member states to respect democratic values. He did not directly mention Poland and Hungary, the focal points of the problem, but since his speech, von der Leyen has attacked the two countries where it hurts the most: in the reception of European funds.
“Von der Leyen herself is showing her claws. The strategy they adopted last summer was basically to get a tough compromise on the governance and rule of law mechanism, to get things moving, to pass the budget, to set up the fund for Recovery. But now we are at a stage where, as we know, the money for Poland and Hungary is not going to flow. “, believes German Marshall Fund researcher Jakob F Kirkegaard.
The speech lasts more than an hour and the president usually emphasizes the issues in which she needs the support of the MEPs of the European Parliament. But it is also important for citizens.
“People, and I think the media, should pay attention to it. Because they love it or hate it, the European Commission is a very powerful institution. It has the monopoly of initiating regulations that will affect 400 million Europeans. “recalls BrusselsReport.eu editor-in-chief Pieter Cleppe.
As every year, the speech will focus on the EU milestones