Von der Leyen Calls for Completing the EU with a New Expansion but Without Dates

Von der Leyen Calls for “Completing” the EU with a New Expansion

Today is a significant day in Strasbourg. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has delivered what will be her final State of the Union address (SOTEU) before the upcoming European elections in June 2024. Her speech focused on her legacy and the work accomplished in recent years.

In her address, von der Leyen emphasized the need to “complete” the European Union by undertaking a new expansion. However, she put particular emphasis on the absence of specific timelines for this enlargement. This strategic approach aims to ensure that any future expansion is carefully planned and executed, taking into account the unique circumstances and challenges faced by each potential candidate.

The President highlighted the importance of a strong and united European Union, capable of addressing global issues and making an impact on the world stage. Von der Leyen emphasized that the EU is more than just an economic and political union; it is a force for positive change and a beacon of democracy, peace, and prosperity.

Vision for the future of the EU

One of the key aspects of von der Leyen’s vision for the future of the EU is the continued focus on sustainable development and environmental protection. She emphasized the need to lead the way in green innovation and transition towards a carbon-neutral economy. This commitment to sustainability not only benefits the planet but also creates new opportunities for economic growth and job creation.

Furthermore, von der Leyen emphasized the importance of digital transformation and the need to harness the potential of technology to drive innovation and competitiveness within the EU. She stressed the significance of investing in digital infrastructure, supporting research and development, and ensuring that Europe remains at the forefront of technological advancements.

In her speech, the President also addressed the ongoing challenges faced by the EU, including the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the lessons learned from it. Von der Leyen highlighted the need for resilience and solidarity, both within the EU member states and with the global community. She emphasized the importance of working together to overcome the societal, economic, and health challenges posed by the pandemic.

The importance of democratic values

To ensure the EU’s continued relevance and effectiveness, von der Leyen stressed the importance of democratic values, the rule of law, and the respect for human rights. She emphasized that these core principles are non-negotiable and underpin the strength and integrity of the European Union.

In conclusion, Ursula von der Leyen’s final State of the Union address highlighted the accomplishments and challenges faced by the EU in recent years. She called for the completion of the European Union through a new expansion, but without setting specific dates. This strategic approach aims to ensure a careful and well-planned process, taking into account the unique circumstances and challenges of each potential candidate. Von der Leyen’s vision for the EU focuses on sustainable development, digital transformation, resilience, and solidarity, all while upholding democratic values and the rule of law. As the EU moves forward, it is poised to tackle global challenges and continue to be a beacon of progress and prosperity.