In this blog, we look at what’s missing from von der Leyen’s speech and outline what it should have said for her to fulfil her aspiration of a “geopolitical Commission.”. Michel, president of the European Council, represents member state governments. President von der Leyen pledged that the Commission will drive a sustainable and transformational recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that will give the EU a global platform that will give the EU a global platform to lead economically, environmentally and geopolitically. It is, therefore, sustained support to Europe’s developing country partners which will be essential. Putting cohesion back into the heart of the European Union. President von der Leyen announced her support for qualified majority voting on foreign policy issues (to a thunderous standing ovation), but this is easier said than done. (4) Leading the digital transformation, particularly on data, technology and infrastructure. This was a speech founded on European values and cohesion is a fundamental EU value. She also highlighted her intention to make the next 10 years Europe’s Digital Decade. Ursula von der Leyen was left without a seat at a summit in Ankara on Tuesday after her two male counterparts took the only available chairs, leaving her to perch on a nearby sofa. • Legislative proposal on revision of the EU emission trading system (ETS), • Legislative proposal on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, • Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings, • Revision of the Regulation on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry, • Legislative proposal to address methane emissions in the energy sector, revision of the regulatory framework for competitive decarbonised gas markets and revision of the Energy Taxation Directive, • Revision of the Directive on Intelligent Transport Systems and the Directive on Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure. While showing support for the UN, WHO, or WTO, she expressed her willingness to reform these institutions, but with no detail of how. With a wide-ranging set of actions, she proclaimed the Commission’s intent to seize the moment, use the money available, and increase its powers to help “build the world we want to live in.” However, while not short of ambition for Europe’s citizens, von der Leyen’s frequently espoused aspiration for the EU to become a leading global player was, to an extent, a whitewash. Nevertheless, stability, protection, and opportunity—the three big themes of von der Leyen’s SOTEU—cannot be divorced from Europe’s global responsibilities and opportunities. Inspired by the State of the Union address delivered most years by the US president, the European counterpart attempts to render the EU more transparent as it sets the Commission President’s vision and legislative proposals for the year ahead. And there is no shortage of opportunities for the EU to take decisive action. COVID-19 has demonstrated the extent to which functioning economies and societies depend on the stability and prosperity of the interconnected world. Footage shows a perplexed Ms Von der Leyen as Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and European Council president Charles Michel took … The Carbon Border Adjustment mechanism will help ensure others will follow Europe’s lead. She will both take stock of her first year in office and look towards the future. Preliminary calculations suggest that global poverty will rise by over 50 million people in 2020 compared to 2019, and by almost 75 million compared to what forecasters at the end of 2019 had expected to happen. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will hold her annual State of the Union address this morning. With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Nevertheless, the EU has considerable oft-forgotten soft power strengths which it could use to positively influence the many global challenges that we face. In particular, President von der Leyen stressed the following goals as the priorities of the Commission for the upcoming months: (1) Protecting the health of citizens in Europe. The speech of von der Leyen lasted for 75 minutes, or one hour and 15 minutes. There is no doubt that the EU’s ambition to be more geopolitical is hindered by the unanimity requirement which means that EU foreign policy frequently boils down to the lowest common denominator, especially on thorny issues like sanctions or human rights. Concerning compliance with the rule of law, she confirmed that the Commission is adopting its first annual Rule of Law report covering all Member States by the end of September. In combination, the EU is a principal global player both economically and politically. She made clear that the EU wants a global agreement on digital taxation, but also that it will go it alone if that cannot be achieved. She promised to put forward a legal framework for setting minimum wages. CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. A row has broken out after the snub at the Tuesday's summit where one of the topics was women's rights. She affirmed that the EU is ready to build a new transatlantic agenda with the United States and to reach a deal with the UK, provided it honours the Withdrawal Agreement, ‘a matter of law, trust and good faith’ on which the EU ‘will never backtrack’. On 16 th September 2020, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, delivered her first State of the Union (SOTEU) speech, setting the tone for the rest of her five-year term.With a wide-ranging set of actions, she proclaimed the Commission’s intent to seize the moment, use the money available, and increase its powers to help “build the world we want to live in.” You can watch the debate here. On 16th September 2020, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, delivered her first State of the Union (SOTEU) speech, setting the tone for the rest of her five-year term. It produced an awkward scene, with von der Leyen … Von der Leyen delivers 'State of Union' speech This WEEK. Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. Brussels is stepping up to tackle the big crises, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared Wednesday in her first State of the European Union speech, and she pointedly challenged EU capitals and international powers to do the same. In a State of the Union the speaker must emphasise what Europe has done over the past year and announce what it is planning to do in the coming one. The Council Presidency also take the floor. The EU-African Union (AU) Summit postponed to 2021 offers the European Commission an opportunity to rethink its approach and start connecting its external and internal action. Brigid Laffan (Director of the Robert Schuman Centre, EUI). The President pledged action to boost the single market, reinforce the Economic and Social Union, get the Schengen area working in full again, update the EU’s industry strategy and adapt its competition framework. ©2021 Association of Accredited Public Policy Advocates to the European Union. The absence of Commission proposals on how to create a truly global Europe is not only in stark contrast to von der Leyen’s strong, even bold proposals on a variety of domestic policy issues, but even more remarkable in the midst of a pandemic and a global recession. Ursula von der Leyen was Minister at federal level in Germany for more than 14 years and responsible for family, then labor and social affairs and later defence. EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen will address MEPs in Brussels, rather than Strasbourg, after the parliament president decided not to take risks with coronavirus (Photo: European Parliament) By Eszter Zalan. Von der Leyen called for the strengthening of the European Medicine Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as well as for the creation of a new agency for biomedical advance research and development. The President called for the revitalisation and reform of the multilateral system, including the UN, WTO and WHO. Undoubtedly, given the absence of a genuine common European foreign and security policy, there were always going to be limits to von der Leyen’s geopolitical Commission. EU chief Ursula von der Leyen will champion plans to relaunch Europe's coronavirus-devastated economy through a green new deal Wednesday, in her annual State of the European Union … The European Commission’s President von der Leyen presented her State of the Union 2020 Address earlier this week before the European Parliament. The President called for lessons to be learned, saying Europe must build a stronger European health union, with a future-proof and properly funded EU4Health programme, a reinforced European Medicines Agency (EMA) and a strengthened European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Only two seats were set up for the meeting, which involved Ursula von der Leyen, President Erdogan, and EU Council President Charles Michel. The annual address is evidence of the growing presidentialisation of the Commission following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. • Revision of the Regulation setting CO2 emission performance standards for cars and light commercial vehicles and legislative proposal on development of post-Euro6/VI emission standards for cars, vans, lorries and buses. In her speech, Africa appeared to be little more than a side-note. Some of this investment is precautionary (health security “insurance”, or surge capacity), to mitigate the catastrophic risk of health systems being overrun by future pandemics, but the majority of the investment needed is simply to bring them up to minimal levels of operational effectiveness. And beyond Europe’s borders, she issued a plea for qualified majority voting on foreign policy—a long-standing stalemate issue for the Member States—and for Europe to take clear positions and quick actions including sanctions targeting individuals suspected of human rights abuses. To take just one example of where cross-sectoral approaches are needed, accelerating digital work and learning opportunities requires not just massive investment in broadband infrastructure networks, but less visibly and more patiently, in related secondary general and technical education attainment. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was left without a seat, and had to sit on a nearby sofa, as the bloc's leaders met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The SOTEU reinforces this disconnect having failed to recognise that internal and external are two sides of the same coin. The President further called for a debate on new competences for the EU in the field of health, as part of the forthcoming Conference on the Future of Europe. Also known as the tate f he uropean nion, it is the speech the President of the European Commission delivers before the European Parliament every September. On 16 September, President Ursula von der Leyen will give her first ever State of the Union address. In 2019, she was elected as President of the European Commission. To signal this, she made Ethiopia the destination for her first official state visit outside the EU and announced the birth of “the geopolitical Commission.” Little less than a year and a SOTEU speech later, the EU’s global ambitions continue to remain elusive. The EU should increasingly follow the example set by the politically, technically, and economically attractive programmes it has already designed in the context of its own internal-interests programmes, which are surprisingly disconnected from its development cooperation, all too often treated as a separate silo. The address can be followed live from 9.15. Legislative proposal for a sustainable product policy initiative, • Communication on Europe’s Digital Decade: 2030 Digital Targets, • Legislative proposal for a digital levy, • Legislative proposal for a trusted and secure European e-ID, • Initiative on improving the working conditions of platform workers, • Communication on updating the new industrial strategy for Europe, • Legislative proposal on levelling the playing field for foreign subsidies, • Action plan on synergies between civil, defence and space industries, • Legislative proposal on an investment protection and facilitation framework, • Revision of the prudential rules for insurance and reinsurance companies (Solvency II), • Revision of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation, • Legislative proposal on sustainable corporate governance, • Establishment of an EU Green Bond Standard, • Proposal for a legislative package on anti-money laundering, • Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights, European Child Guarantee, New Occupational Safety and Health Strategy, Action Plan for the Social Economy, • Towards the future Generalised Scheme of Preferences legal framework granting trade advantages to developing countries, • Instrument to deter and counteract coercive actions by third countries, • Joint communication on strengthening the EU’s contribution to rules-based multilateralism, • Joint communication on the Arctic and northern dimension policy, • Joint communication on a renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood, • Joint communication on a strategic approach to support the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants, • Legislative proposal to establish a new European Biomedical Research and Development Agency, • Legislative proposal to extend the mandate of the European Medicines Agency, • Legislative proposal to extend the mandate of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, • Legislative proposal on European health data space, • Follow up initiatives under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, • Communications on an EU agenda to tackle organised crime and on counter-terrorism, • Legislative proposal to prevent and combat specific forms of gender-based violence, • Proposals to extend the list of EU crimes to all forms of hate crime and hate speech, • Legislative proposal on the digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation, • Revision of the Regulation on the Statute and Funding of the European Political Parties and European Political Foundations, • Communication on a long-term vision for rural areas. Independent research for global prosperity. The EU can play a central role in exporting innovations in city design, IT infrastructure, renewable energy use, and local entrepreneurship, alongside investment in social services. (Last year, CGD published a roadmap for an EU-Africa partnership of equals, setting out how the European Commission could turn this aspiration into reality.). According to the Commission’s President, Next Generation EU represents a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to make change happen by design and to enable the EU to become green, digital and more resilient. In this area, President von der Leyen called for a common plan for digital Europe with clearly defined goals for 2030, such as for connectivity, skills and digital public services. As president of the European Commission, von der Leyen is head of the EU executive, while, as European Council president, Charles represents member state governments. Little mention was given to these strengths, nor how the EU could capitalise on them to lead the way in global recovery. for 1+3, enter 4. Furthermore, the scope for innovations, regarding both processes and technologies, to improve living standards is arguably greatest in Africa. In her State of the Union speech today, President von der Leyen further announced the Commission’s plans to present an European anti-racism action plan, to strengthen racial equality laws, and to extend the list of EU-level crimes to all forms of hate crime and hate speech, whether based on race, religion gender or sexuality. E.g. In her State of the Union speech today, President von der Leyen further announced the Commission’s plans to present an European anti-racism action plan, to strengthen racial equality laws, and to extend the list of EU-level crimes to all forms of hate crime and hate speech, whether based on … To stop re-infection and suppress second-wave outbreaks, all countries need resilient health systems, and the weakest systems, particularly in Africa, need the most urgent investment. Twenty percent of the EU’s Recovery Plan will be invested in digital projects, ranging from the creation of a European cloud securing personal data to the expansion of 5G and the development of supercomputers. While von der Leyen did demonstrate strong commitment to the European neighbourhood—Western Balkans and the Eastern partner countries, and outspoken support for the people of Belarus—she failed to offer a compelling vision for Europe’s soft power, including global alliances and equal partnerships. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spread a message of unity and moving forward in her first State of the Union speech on Wednesday. She also pledged to ensure that EU funds are spent under rule of law safeguards. President von der Leyen stressed the importance of reinforcing Europe’s social market economy and of protecting workers and businesses from external shocks. The Address lays out the vision the Commission has for the road forward to “building the world we want to live in”. Von der Leyen, as president of the European Commission, is head of the EU executive. This will put the EU on track for climate neutrality by 2050 and for meeting its Paris Agreement obligations. President von der Leyen announced that the Commission is proposing to increase the 2030 target for emissions reduction from 40% to 55%. Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy, Co-Director of Development Cooperation in Europe and Senior Policy Fellow. In her first State of the Union (SOTEU) address to the European Parliament, von der Leyen outlined the political and policy priorities of the European Commission for the coming year. She also announced a Global Health Summit to be organised with Italy in 2021. (5) Responding more assertively to global events and deepening the EU’s relations with its closest neighbours and global partners. Video footage shows von der Leyen, the European Commission's first female president, forced to sit on a nearby sofa. Finally, she expressed her commitment to use Europe’s diplomatic strength and economic clout to broker agreements that make a difference on ethical, human rights and environmental issues. If anything, von der Leyen… In Germany, there is commotion about a new book, Ausbruch: Innenansichten einer Pandemie [Outbreak: Insights from Inside a Pandemic], in which two journalists describe meetings held during the corona crisis between federal chancellor Angela Merkel, and the 16 prime ministers of its federal constituent states. While the president succeeded in drawing a compelling picture of how the EU’s swift and generous COVID-19 response is a reflection of European solidarity, her policy proposals stopped short at the continent’s borders. Former President Jean-Claude Juncker committed to this in his 2018 State of the Union address, and it never got off the ground. Michel, president of the European Council, represents member state governments. And yet, Europe’s scale and scope, as collectively the world’s largest development actor; its social face rooted in EU values that interconnect economic and social progress alongside environmental improvement; its openness to partnerships and initiatives and unwavering commitment to multilateralism and a rules-based system of global governance - all uniquely position it as a global standard-setter, convener, and bridge-builder.