On 13 September 2017, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, delivered his annual speech on the State of the European Union at the European Parliament.
The speech took stock of Europe's current political and economic landscape. It was an opportunity to review the work of the EU over the past year, and to look ahead to the priorities of the forthcoming year.
In connection with the speech the European Commission issued a series of Fact Sheets which highlighted key priorities:
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Background and further information:
The State of the Union (SOTEU) is an annual speech and debate given by the President of the European Commission during which the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) review the European Commission’s achievements over the past year as well as assess its objectives for the year to come. Once the Commission President finishes his speech, there is an open debate with the MEPs.
The State of the Union is about ensuring transparency as well as political accountability. The debate takes place every year during the first plenary session of the new parliamentary year in September.
The 2017 SOTEU speech was given in the context that between March-June 2017 the European Commission had presented a White Paper on the Future of Europe and a series of connected reflection papers, which formed the Commission's contribution to the debate and reflection on the way forward for the EU marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome in 1957.
The SOTEU 2017 speech gave President Juncker the opportunity to drawer some conclusions from the debate following the White Paper and make some policy suggestions. Mr Juncker also outlined his vision regarding the future of the European Union, its structure and the overall process of European integration.
A number of policy initiatives and strategies were also announced during his speech, including:
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