Ursula von der Leyen State of the Union’s speech

On 12 September 2021, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, delivered her State of the Union highlighting the priorities and initiatives for the coming year. 

Some of the proposed initiatives included: 

  • Ensuring fairer working conditions and better healthcare; and creating more opportunities for Europe’s youth to benefit from the European social market economy (also known as social economy)
  • Leading the digital transformation that will create jobs and drive competitiveness, while ensuring technical excellence and security of supply
  • Defending European values and freedoms, and protecting the rule of law. 
  • Continuing the vaccination efforts in Europe and speeding up vaccination globally, as well as strengthening the pandemic preparedness

On the Letter of Intent sent to David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament, and Prime Minister Janez Janša, as the Presidency of the Council, Ursula von der Leyen detailed the actions that the Commission intends to take, re-affirming the European Pillar of Social Rights and set out new measures for equity and fairness:

  • A new European Care Strategy to support carers and those receiving care – from early childhood education to long-term care
  • A new initiative targeting profits hidden behind shell entities.
  • Sealing the historic global agreement on a minimum rate of corporate taxation.

The new European Care Strategy will “support men and women in finding the best care and the best life balance for them” – she stated,  stressing that “caring for someone you love is the most precious time of all.”

Other key initiatives for 2022 are the European Green Deal, a Europe fit for the digital age, an economy that works for people, a stronger Europe in the world, promoting the European way of life and a new push for European democracy. 

>> Read the State of Union Letter of intent here.