01 Oct 2022

State of the European Union: Stronger Together

State of the European Union: Stronger Together

European democracy is sometimes taken for granted. However, we should treasure it since our EU democracy places citizens’ well-being and rights at the heart of policymaking.

Every September, the President of the European Commission gives a ‘State of the Union’ speech, which takes stock of the past year and sets out the Commission’s priorities and ambitions for the year ahead.

This year on September 14, President Ursula von der Leyen delivers her speech as the EU emerges from the coronavirus pandemic crisis but is facing a new crisis: Russia’s unjustified war against Ukraine and its fallout, including challenges in relation to energy supply.

The European Commission successfully coordinated the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and procured safe and effective vaccines. As we seek to modernise economies after the pandemic, NextGenerationEU - Europe’s recovery plan - has facilitated unprecedented investment in the economy.

The EU has shown unwavering support for Ukraine and is taking decisive measures to reduce dependency on Russian gas and oil and ensure Europe’s energy supply.The Commision has also tabled ambitious plans to invest in green technologies and protect the natural environment.

The EU empowers people to shape their future: over the past year citizens were invited to put forward ideas for Europe’s future. In this year’s speech, President von der Leyen will outline initiatives to bring these’ ideas to life -this is what people-centred European democracy means.

It is no surprise that the latest Eurobarometer survey revealed that 83% of Irish people look upon the future of the European Union with optimism – the highest percentage of any country in the EU.

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