Learn about the key highlights of the European State of Union address
On 13 September 2023, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen outlined past achievements and future ambitions for Europe in her State of Union address. This address marked the final one for the current Commission before the European elections in 2024, providing Von der Leyen with an opportunity to highlight the achievements of the past years in her speech.
Europe continues to pursue its climate ambitions, with the European Green Deal being one of its flagship initiatives. “Food security, in harmony with nature, remains an essential task”. Von der Leyen mentioned in her speech that sustainability ambitions should align with European growth. While our economy is innovative, resilient and well-positioned to achieve climate neutrality, three significant challenges must be considered: a widespread shortage of workers, persistently high prices, and the administrative burden faced by small companies.
Another overarching topic was a stronger and larger Union and Europe's stance on the Ukraine conflict. Europe will continue to provide support for Ukraine and contribute to the country's reconstruction. According to Von der Leyen, “it is clearly in Europe’s strategic and security interests to complete our Union”, referring to enlargement and the bloc’s readiness to welcome new members.
The voice of youth will determine Europe’s future, specifically in areas such as sustainability, migration and artificial intelligence, which will become more important. Von der Leyen noted, “When I speak to the new generation of young people, I see that same vision for a better future”.
“Now is the moment to show that we can build a continent where you can be who you are, love who you want, and aim as high as you want”, that’s where Europe will continue its efforts.