Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen will give this Wednesday the balance speech of the last 12 months and presents the strategies for the coming year. The pandemic is again a central theme of debate.

The President will defend the effort made by the European Union, to combat Covid-19 and the impact of the pandemic. Vaccination plans in the European Union, and the joint purchase of vaccines will be part of the arguments based on which the President of the Commission will defend the idea that the European strategy to combat the coronavirus thrives.

Von der Leyen will seize the moment to present the structure of the future health emergency authority, projected for the beginning of next year.

The new structure is responsible for the “development, manufacture, purchase, and equitable distribution of Vaccines, antibiotics, therapeutic substances, diagnostics and medical equipment”.

The Brussels chief executive will point out the role of the European Union’s Covid-19 certificate in increasing mobility during the summer. And, it should highlight the economic recovery, which may reach pre-crisis levels at the end of this year, with the first transfers of bazooka money already reaching the States.

The Brussels chief executive is expected to point out the economic recovery, which could reach pre-crisis levels later this year, more than half a year ahead of schedule, at a time when the first transfers of bazooka money have already started to reach the capitals.

Following the priorities of the European Commission’s agenda, the so-called green and digital transformation will deserve a reference from the president, calling for a fair transition, with a view to achieving climate goals. Von der Leyen is expected to make some kind of reference to reforming fiscal rules and controlling debt.

Afghanistan

Also during the speech, the president of the Commission will project the geopolitical role of Brussels, after the withdrawal of the western presence from the Afghan territory.

Von der Leyen announced in late August that the budget for aid to Afghanistan will be multiplied by four, up to 200 million euros.

At the end of September, Brussels is expected to present an action plan to combat trafficking in persons. The strategy also involves talking to neighboring countries that already host nearly 2 million Afghan refugees, distributed between Pakistan (1.4 million) Iran (780 thousand) and Tajikistan (6000), according to data from Brussels . The EU has been channeling money to support refugees in host communities. It has already distributed “more than 250 million euros”, and intends to “continue with this support”.

rule of law

Von der Leyen should address the issue of the rule of law in the European Union, at a time when there are lawsuits against Poland and Hungary for persistently deviating from European standards in this matter.

In an interview with the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, in which she points out clues about today’s speech, the president of the Commission defends “adequate work from a legal point of view, enforcing the law, but remaining sober and always seeking dialogue.”

Brussels is awaiting a ruling by the European Union Court of Justice on possible fines to be imposed on Poland after the government insists on maintaining a controversial disciplinary body for judges.

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