EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will give her annual speech on the European Union on Wednesday to summarize the past 12 months and outline plans for the coming year.
She will address MEPs at 09:00 CEST. Watch live in the video player above.
Here is a summary of what you need to know. Follow live text updates below.
- This is the tenth state in the European Union – SOTEU – speech and VDL’s second;
- Members will comment on the work and plans of the European Commission after the speech.
COVID will be at the center of the VDL, which is expected to repeat that the bloc is now leading the United States on vaccinations;
The recovery plan, the block’s package of € 807 billion to boost Member States’ covid-affected economies, is also likely to emerge;
Also safe to include: EU efforts to tackle climate change and protect the rule of law;
- Now read this: Did von der Leyen deliver last year’s promises?
Follow live updates
The Commission wants you to know … Part 4
Brussels also fears that it will take measures to protect the rule of law within the country. Over the past year, it has:
- released two annual EU-wide reports on the rule of law;
- included a conditional mechanism in the NextGenerationEU recovery plan to suspend, reduce or restrict access to EU funding in the event of infringements.
- created a European Public Prosecutor’s Office to combat cross-border crime and corruption.
The Commission wants you to know … Part 3
Here is what Brussels has done over the last 12 months on climate change:
- Members and EU leaders have reached an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
- European climate law also provides for EU legislation to achieve climate neutrality by 2050;
- The European Green Deal package was presented in July 2021 and plans for increased energy efficiency with more renewable energy sources, better housing construction standards.
- It also includes a fair transition mechanism to help regions transition to a climate-neutral economy.
The Commission wants you to know … Part 2
On the economic recovery, the Commission kindly reiterates that:
- a € 2 trillion package has been achieved, which includes the bloc’s next seven-year budget (€ 1.2 trillion) and a € 807 billion stimulus package;
- EU bonds were issued for the first time to raise money to finance the stimulus package;
- it has now approved 18 of the national recovery and resilience plans submitted at the end of August, which describe what the Member States will do with the money from Brussels.
The Commission wants you to know … Part 1
The EU chief released a practical 51-page report last week on his “achievements” over the past year.
The first part is, no surprise, dedicated to the global health crisis. Here’s what the Commission wants you to know:
- Over 522 million doses of the vaccines have been administered in the block in 27 countries;
- More than 70% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated;
- The COVID digital certificate is “a symbol of an open and secure Europe”, helping aviation to recover to over 70% of pre – crisis levels.
- There is a strategy to help against future health crises that includes stronger mandates for the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency and builds the EU’s pharmaceutical strategic autonomy.
Are you ready for it?
If you are not really alert yet during the upcoming SOTEU, von der Leyen has you covered.
She released a video on Monday showing that she is “getting ready” for the address and putting on a fast drum-filled music. That should do the trick!