State of the European Union (SOTEU) 2021

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Publication Date 2021
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The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen delivered the second State of the Union (SOTEU) address of her mandate to the European Parliament on 15 September 2021.

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Ms von der Leyen outlined in her speech some of the key initiatives in the Commission's plans for the year ahead, which included:

  • Continuing vaccination efforts in the EU and speeding up vaccination globally, as well as strengthening pandemic preparedness;
  • Working on closing the climate finance gap, together with global partners;
  • Leading digital transformation, while ensuring technical excellence and security of supply;
  • Ensuring fairer working conditions and better healthcare, and creating more opportunities for youth to benefit from European social market economy;
  • Stepping up cooperation on security and defence, while deepening partnership with closest allies;
  • Defending European values and freedoms, and protection the rule of law.

The President of the European Commission also sent a Letter of Intent to the Presidents of the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, in which actions intended to be carried out in the following year were detailed.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, September 2021: State of the Union address, European Parliament, 2021
European Policy Centre: Discussion Paper, 13/09/2021: The von der Leyen Commission: Time to reset, regroup and get things done
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Martens Centre for European Studies: Blog, 15/09/2021: Searching for the EU’s Global Role – State of the Union Speech
European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations: EFPIA Statement on State of the Union Address (15 September 2021)
European Public Health Alliance, 15/09/2021: What does #SOTEU 21 mean for European health policy?
European Citizen Action Service: Publications, 15/09/2021: ECAS’ Takeaways on the ‘State of the Union’
European Trade Union Confederation: Press Release, 15/09/2021: SOTEU: The right soundbites but few solutions
The New Statesman, 15/09/2021: How Ursula von der Leyen is resetting her presidency with EU vaccine success
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Euronews: View, 16/09/2021: The State of the Union speech was a big missed opportunity for Ursula von der Leyen
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 16/09/2021: What the EU’s Media Freedom Act could mean for journalism in Europe
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Heinrich Böell Foundation: Commentary, 17/09/2021: About soul and sovereignty: our reaction to Ursula von der Leyen’s 2021 State of the Union address
Times of Malta: Editorial, 17/09/2021: Von der Leyen’s plan for the EU
Clingendael: Event, 28-30/09/2021: Looking Back: State of the Union Conference 2021

EurActiv, 09/09/2021: Von der Leyen set to defend COVID strategy in State of the EU speech
France24, 15/09/2021: Von der Leyen hails EU vaccine progress, pledges 200 million jabs for low-income countries
The Guardian, 15/09/2021: Von der Leyen: EU must acquire ‘political will’ to build own military
BBC News, 15/09/2021: EU must step up and build defence - von der Leyen
Deutsche Welle, 15/09/2021: EU to prioritize global vaccination, von der Leyen says in State of EU address
Bloomberg, 15/09/2021: EU Calls On China, US to 'Step Up' on Global Climate Fight
Reuters, 15/09/2021: EU to propose ban on products made by forced labour - von der Leyen
The Irish Times, 15/09/2021: Von der Leyen urges common EU defence to strengthen global role
RTÉ News, 15/09/2021: Von der Leyen warns against 'pandemic of the non-vaccinated'
Politico, 15/09/2021: Von der Leyen finds EU’s soul — and its weakness — in State of Union address
LRT News, 15/09/2021: Von der Leyen says Europe will ‘stand together’ with Lithuania under ‘hybrid attack’
RFE/RL, 15/09/2021: EU Chief Says Bloc To Press Poland, Hungary On Democratic Values News, 15/09/2021: Ursula von der Leyen: "Let's call it what it is: it is a hybrid attack"
Radio Poland, 15/09/2021: EU stands with Poland amid ‘hybrid attack’ by Belarus: von der Leyen
N1 News, 15/09/2021: Von der Leyen announces visit to Western Balkans ‘later this month’
RFI News, 15/09/2021: EU to set up pandemics agency as it rolls out new plans for climate, defence
Politico, 15/09/2021: EU launches ‘Global Gateway’ to counter China’s Belt and Road
EurActiv, 15/09/2021: Von der Leyen rides two horses on EU defence
Associated Press, 15/09/2021: EU chief turns to Paralympian Vio to inspire Europe’s youth
Reuters, 15/09/2021: EU plans 'Chips Act' to promote semiconductor self-sufficiency
EUObserver, 16/09/2021: Why won't EU forces fight together, von der Leyen asks?
VOA News, 16/09/2021: EU Designates $35 Billion for New Health Crisis Agency
EUObserver, 16/09/2021: Von der Leyen issues rallying cry for more EU sovereignty
Hungary Today, 17/09/2021: PMO Head Gulyás: Von der Leyen’s State of the EU Speech ‘Huge Disappointment’

European Commission: State of the Union 2021
European Parliament: Headlines: State of the European Union Debate 2021
S&D Group: Newsroom, 09/09/2021: S&Ds put forward 10 key priorities ahead of the debate on the State of the Union
Renew Europe Group: Newsroom, 09/09/2021: Ursula von der Leyen's State of the Union speech: The EU can (and must) vaccinate the globe
European Commission: 2021 State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen (15 September 2021)
European Commission: State of the European Union 2021 debate - EP Plenary Session [via Youtube]
GUE/NGL Group: The Real State of the European Union (15 September 2021)
Greens/EFA Group: Press Release, 15/09/2021: Greens/EFA call for faster action on climate protection

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