Published on : 15/09/2021 – 08:16Modified : 15/09/2021 – 10:32
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, delivered her State of the Union speech on Wednesday, an annual meeting to present a review of the past year and take stock of the challenges ahead.
The German Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered her State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday 15 September. This annual meeting, which marks the start of the European political year, provides an opportunity to present an assessment of the past year and to talk about the institution’s future projects.
After a year and a half of pandemic, the Covid-19 was logically at the center of the speech. Ursula von der Leyen has long praised the “success” of vaccination in the EU, when the threshold of 70% of adults vaccinated has been exceeded since the end of August.
Two hundred million doses of additional vaccines to the Covax program
The European Union will also give 200 million additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines to poor countries by mid-2022 through the Covax program, announced the President of the European Commission. This donation is in addition to the 250 million doses already promised.
“It has been centuries since we have experienced such a health crisis and we have chosen to face it together so that each country has access to vaccines,” she reacted. “It is an investment in solidarity and it is also an investment in global health.”
A summit on European defense in 2022
Among the other subjects on the program: the economic recovery plan, digital technology, global warming, the migration issue.
“We are on the side of the Afghan people,” said Ursula von der Leyen, to the applause of MEPs. “The EU will present in the coming weeks a support program for Afghanistan” of 100 million euros of additional aid, she announced without specifying how many refugees will be accommodated on the continent.
In addition, Ursula von der Leyen announced a “European Defense Summit” with President Emmanuel Macron, during the French presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2022.