2020 State of the Union Address (SOTEU)

On Wednesday, September 16, Ursula von der Leyen gave her first State of the Union Address (SOTEU) as European Commission President.

SOTEU is a key moment in the European Union’s calendar of events. It is intended to demonstrate the European Commission’s accountability towards the European Union and its citizens. That is why the address and the debate that follows take place within the European Parliament building. Members of the European Parliament are elected democratically by European citizens and therefore the European Parliament is considered as being the Institution that represents citizens.

This year’s address comes at a time of considerable uncertainty. Europe faces one of its toughest years yet as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all aspects of society.

The address focuses on a number of issues which include, but are not limited to, the economic recovery, climate change, youth unemployment and migration flows. The event is particularly significant as it aims to promote a more transparent and democratic Union.

President von der Leyen’s address was accompanied by a ‘Letter of Intent’, sent to European Parliament President Davide Sassoli and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Germany is currently presiding over the Council of the European Union).

A factsheet summarising main initiatives put forward can be found here.

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