Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union Address: Strengthening Europe’s soul

President Ursula von der Leyen delivered today 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, to the social dimension, to technological leadership and 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.