“Answering the call of history” is the key theme of this year’s State of the European Union speech by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. In front of the European parliamentarians in Strasbourg, she highlighted the results of the committee that started working in 2019, and presented her vision for the future.

Among numerous topics, the President of the Commission spoke about EU enlargement, saying that each new wave of enlargement brought a deepening of political relations within the Union. The President of the European Commission believes that the next enlargement will also be the basis for progress.

“The future of Ukraine is in our Union. The future of the Western Balkans is in our Union. The future of Moldova is in our Union. And I know how important the European perspective is for many people in Georgia”, said President Von der Leyen.

She also reminded of numerous activities in which the Western Balkans is already involved, such as the control of irregular migrant flows or the joint purchase of gas, that Serbia is entitled to.

“So, it can be done. But we need to look closer at each policy and see how they would be affected by a larger Union. This is why the Commission will start working on a series of pre-enlargement policy reviews to see how each area may need to be adapted to a larger Union. We will need to think about how our institutions would work – how the Parliament and the Commission would look”, said Von der Leyen.

Among the initiatives that are particularly highlighted, Von der Leyen spoke about the laws that will concern new technologies, the control of the use of artificial intelligence. A large part of the speech is dedicated to EU aid to Ukraine – this is the birth of a “geopolitical Union”, said Von der Leyen. One of the priorities in the coming period is environmental protection.

“Four years ago, the European Green Deal was our answer to the call of history. And this summer – the hottest ever on record in Europe – was a stark reminder of that. Greece and Spain were struck by ravaging wildfires – and were hit again only a few weeks later by devastating floods. And we saw the chaos of extreme weather – from Slovenia to Bulgaria and right across our Union. This is the reality of a boiling planet. The European Green Deal was born out of this necessity to protect our planet”, the speech states.

This was the last speech on the state of the EU by the current President of the Commission.

“In just under 300 days, Europeans will take to the polls in our unique and remarkable democracy. As with any election, it will be a time for people to reflect on the State of our Union and the work done by those that represent them. But it will also be a time to decide on what kind of future and what kind of Europe they want”, Von der Leyen added.

The President of the European Commission concluded her speech by repeating the message that this is the time for Europe to answer the call of history.

Full text of the speech


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