The State of the Union Speech of the President of the EU Commission

The State of the Union Speech of the President of the EU Commission

On 16 September, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, presented her first State of the Union speech, assessing her first nine months in office, marked by the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, she set out the projects of the Commission for the years ahead.  

As a priority topic, von der Leyen widely spoke about the various EU's measures in order to address the pandemic. She tried to reassure European citizens about the EU grip on the crisis and praised a common response to the challenges that the EU is still facing. In this regard, she welcomed the initiative by MEPs to increase the EU4Health budget. Regarding the Schengen area and travel restrictions, the President stated that the Commission would propose a new strategy to safeguard the free movement and harmonise processes. Von der Leyen also touched upon the social and economic aspects of the crisis, bringing up the topics of SMEs and minimum wages, as well as the necessary digitalisation of the EU within the framework of the Digital Single Market, all subjects which could be of concern for sport organisations and from which they may even potentially benefit. 

The President then came to another main subject of her mandate, namely the Green Deal. Von der Leyen reaffirmed her belief in the power of the EU to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050, insisting on the need to accelerate this process, all the while assuring that “no one would be left behind”. She confirmed the Commission’s proposition to increase emission cuts to at least 55% by 2030, as a compromise between the Parliament’s demand for a 60% target and the Council’s reserve on the issue. Taxation as well as renovation of buildings were given as examples of potential tools to achieve these goals. Adding to this, she announced that 37% of the Next Generation budget should be spent directly on Green Deal objectives. Sport, although not directly mentioned, could play an important role in contributing to the environmental objectives of the EU by implementing sustainable measures and using its universal popularity to shine a light on the topic. 

Regarding migration, she stressed the importance of successful integration, in which sport could also show its commitment. In the aftermath of the “Black Lives matter” movement, von der Leyen then touched upon anti-racism, advocating a Union of equality. The latest evolutions of Brexit negotiations also seemed to worry the Commission. Many of these developments have the potential of impacting sport events and migration.

Last but not least, she stressed the importance of the European youth. To illustrate the key concept of resilience, von der Leyen used the memorable example of two Italian girls playing tennis on a rooftop during the lockdown, saying she would always remember them as true models for resilience. This example goes to show what important role sport has played and can still play during the pandemic, and will certainly continue to have an impact on the next EU generation.              

 

Recent Posts

European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) published its activity report for 2019-2024

The CULT activity report  2019-2024 sets out all the main legislative and non-legislative activities carried out by the committee during the 9th parliamentary term in order to reinforce the continuity of the policies implemented with new MEPs (after the elections in June). For retiring MEPs, the activity report can serve as a valuable record of their achievements […]

Read More
Working Party on Sport finalises EU Work Plan for Sport

The Working Party on Sport met on 8 April. Priority topic of the meeting was the finalisation of the text for the EU Work for Sport (2024-2027) and the Council Conclusions on the contribution of self-organised sport to supporting active and healthy lifestyles among Europeans. Furthermore, the EU Sport Ministers discussed a background document on […]

Read More
The European Cycling Declaration has officially been adopted

On 3 April, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU signed the European Cycling Declaration, aiming to develop cycling in Europe. In 2022, six EU Member States proposed an overall European strategy for cycling and a European Year of Cycling. Since then, sixteen Member States have supported this initiative, which was followed […]

Read More

Related Posts

April 12, 2024
European Parliament Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) published its activity report for 2019-2024

The CULT activity report  2019-2024 sets out all the main legislative and non-legislative activities carried out by the committee during the 9th parliamentary term in order to reinforce the continuity of the policies implemented with new MEPs (after the elections in June). For retiring MEPs, the activity report can serve as a valuable record of their achievements […]

April 12, 2024
Working Party on Sport finalises EU Work Plan for Sport

The Working Party on Sport met on 8 April. Priority topic of the meeting was the finalisation of the text for the EU Work for Sport (2024-2027) and the Council Conclusions on the contribution of self-organised sport to supporting active and healthy lifestyles among Europeans. Furthermore, the EU Sport Ministers discussed a background document on […]

April 5, 2024
The European Cycling Declaration has officially been adopted

On 3 April, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU signed the European Cycling Declaration, aiming to develop cycling in Europe. In 2022, six EU Member States proposed an overall European strategy for cycling and a European Year of Cycling. Since then, sixteen Member States have supported this initiative, which was followed […]

About us

The EOC EU Office is the House of European Sport, representing the European Olympic Committees (EOC), the IOC and other major sport organisations to the European institutions in Brussels.
CONTACT
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram