State of the Union 2017

Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 14/09/2017
Content Type ,

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:

+ Roadmap for a more United, Stronger and more Democratic Union
+ The Economic and Monetary Union today
+ A European Minister of Economy and Finance
+ EU Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS)
+ A European Labour Authority
+ Posting of Workers in the EU
+ Dual Quality of Food
+ Better Regulation
+ The EU’s Key Partnership with Africa
+ European Solidarity Corps: One Year On

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:

+ Overhaul of EU's cybersecurity strategy
+ External trade and investment
+ Democracy Package: ECI instrument revision and Political Parties funding
+ New Code of Conduct for Commissioners
+ Renewed Industrial Policy Strategy
+ Initiative on free flow of non-personal data

Previous State of the Union speeches:
+ 2015
+ 2016

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Related Links
Blog: Open Europe, 14.09.17: Europe reacts to Juncker’s State of the European Union speech
Blog: Open Europe, 14.09.17: View from Brussels: Juncker’s State of the Union speech – the good, the bad and the ugly
EP: EPRS: Briefing: What Think Tanks are Thinking, 15.09.17: The State of the Union
Politico, 13-14.09.17: Juncker’s uni-vision for Europe
European Parliament: State of the Union
VoxEurop, 13.09.17: State of the European Union speech: Counting the words that count
EUObserver, 14.09.17: EU countries cool on Juncker's ideas
EurActiv: Topic: SOTEU
European Parliament: Press Release, 13.09.17: State of the Union: Let’s make the most of the momentum to shape an ambitious future
Euro|Topics: Debates, September 2017: How visionary is Juncker's speech?
EP: EPRS: Briefing, September 2017: The 2017 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament
ednHUB, 13.09.17: Juncker urges EU to use positive momentum to chart future direction (via dpa)
European Commission: DG Communication: SPEECH/17/3165, 13.09.17: President Jean-Claude Juncker's State of the Union Address 2017
Leiden University: Leiden Law Blog: A ‘Block-booster’ State of the Union
European Commission: DG Communication: IP/17/3164, 13.09.17: The State of the Union 2017: Catching the wind in our sails
Politico, 06.09.17: State of the Juncker
Deutsche Welle, 13.09.17: [Opinion] Jean-Claude Juncker on the high EU seas
The Economist, 16.09.17: Mr Juncker’s Indian summer
Euronews, 15.09.17: [Opinion] Juncker brings positivity to Europe but is it just a pleasant dream?
EPRS: Briefing: European Council Briefing, October 2017: The European Council and the 2017 State of the Union proposals
ESO In Focus, September 2017: Juncker suggests changes to EU political framework in his annual SOTEU address

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