PIt could be von der Leyen’s penultimate State of the Union address. There are European elections in June next year and the president of the European Commission has not yet lifted the ‘taboo’ about wanting to continue.
However, he will speak on Wednesday as he approaches the conclusion of his mandate. In just over an hour, Ursula von der Leyen will go back to 2019 and praise what she did with her team of commissioners, with a pandemic in the middle, and now, almost at the end of the day, a war on the doorstep of the European Union ( HUH).
After the retrospective of the mandate, the president of the Commission wants the 27 to look to the future and wants to do it transversally. Community source revealed that in the speech there will be a focus on legislation on AI.
The Commission has made this legislative initiative an EU flagship, wanting to create the first complete legislation that addresses the various uses of AI and how they can be integrated into citizens’ lives without harming them.
Ursula von der Leyen will call for an effort to finalize this initiative, but will also warn that a global approach to AI is necessary, a message she already left at the G20 meeting last week.
Cross-cutting also means looking at conflicts other than Ukraine and von der Leyen will address the deterioration of the geopolitical situation in the African Sahel region, especially the military coups in Niger and Gabon, in less than two months.
For a long time, von der Leyen has been pushing for the EU to be more than an influential political-economic bloc on European territory and look to Africa — something that Portugal has insisted on.
The redefinition of the strategy for China will also be addressed, but the president has insisted on this in recent months, so it is expected that there will be a reference, without any news.
There is a dedicated chapter for the pact on migration and von der Leyen will ask for more effort from MEPs and the European Council to approve it, now that for the Commission it is “on its last legs”.
But the main topic will unavoidably be the one that the former German Defense Minister most clings to like the EU flag: the war in Ukraine.
Von der Leyen will list everything the EU has done since February 24, 2022: from support to strengthen Ukraine’s military capabilities to political and diplomatic support with sanctions against Russia and the attempt to politically encircle Moscow – pressuring it to withdraw troops of Ukrainian territory — in addition to the reception of refugees.
Ukraine is the horizon and EU membership also lies within it, but von der Leyen wants this to be done with care, weight and measure.
Several leaders, such as the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, have warned in recent months that the enlargement of the EU to Ukraine and other countries must be done with reforms of the Union itself, particularly the financing model, otherwise it will harm countries that are already members, subverting the principle of European equity.
The president of the Council, Charles Michel, wants the discussion to take place by 2030, but the president of the Commission is not expected to put forward deadlines. Instead, she wants dialogue on what is needed to begin as soon as possible, and then move towards enlargement later. Von der Leyen will not want to “politicize enlargement”, preferring to focus on how to achieve it.
In the portion of the speech reserved for the consequences of rising inflation and the difficulties of young people, von der Leyen should mention the housing problem, a focus of alarm in several European capitals, including Lisbon.
Read Also: Brussels wants to review thresholds for the definition of SMEs in the EU (and admits support)
All News. By the Minute.
Seventh consecutive year Consumer Choice for Online Press.
Download our free App.