Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered her 2020 State of the Union address on 16 September. The speech was followed by a plenary debate with members of the European Parliament.
Going green and going digital for a healthy Europe was the main theme of the event. The President outlined her vision for a Europe that emerges stronger from the pandemic and leads the way towards new vitality. "This is our opportunity to make change happen by design – not by disaster or by diktat from others in the world. To emerge stronger by creating opportunities for the world of tomorrow and not just building contingencies for the world of yesterday", she stated.
The main focus points on the EU's agenda are:
- Protecting lives in Europe - building a stronger European Health Union, setting up an agency for advanced biomedical R&D, a framework for minimum wages, stabilising the economy by authorising over 3 trillion euro to support companies and the industry;
- Reinforcing the European Green Deal in an attempt to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050;
- Digitalisation - building a European cloud service, a common secure European e-identity, but also connecting rural areas to broadband and investing 8 billion euro in the next generation of supercomputers;
- Continuing to rally global response as the world awaits an accessible, affordable and safe vaccine against COVID-19;
- Responding more assertively to global events and deepening relations with EU's partners;
- Taking a new approach to migration - as next week the Commission will put forward its New Pact on Migration, aiming to curb discrimination and racism.
The upcoming new Pact on Migration is of particular interest to eu-LISA and its stakeholders as the current and future IT systems run by the Agency can have a positive impact and provide lasting support to Member States as they handle migration and asylum matters.
Each September, the EC President delivers the State of the Union address (SOTEU) before the European Parliament, taking stock of achievements of the past year and presenting priorities for the year ahead. The EU agencies' network holds a joint social media campaign on this occasion. Follow the #SOTEU and #EUAgencies hashtags to discover more.