Far from the realities of life and daily struggles of Europeans, the European Commission will likely use the State of the Union to portray an out of touch picture of reality, boasting about its “achievements” and lamenting shortcomings as if they’re by accident.

But will von der Leyen words reflect the real state of the Union?  Manon Aubry & Martin Schirdewan discuss & analyse her speech and reflect on the present and future of Europe.

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11:05 CET

State of the European Union 2021 debate:
Statement by Martin SCHIRDEWAN co-president of the The Left.


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7 ways VDL could address the REAL SOTEU

Can Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s second State of the Union speech on September 15th be the beginning of a new strategy? A realistic approach, at last, to the real challenges people face?

Here are seven things we need to hear VDL say in her SOTEU speech:

Manon Aubry:

“Commission President von der Leyen failed to tackle the two main challenges of our time: climate change and rising inequalities, and she has not learnt any lessons from the crisis. VDL’s Fit for 55 package won’t be enough to meet our commitments under the Paris Agreement. VDL still negotiates free trade agreements all around the world. She advocates for the return of austerity rules. She has not made any progress on social rights. VDL missed the occasion to launch an ambitious green and social new deal and used the recovery plan as a tool to impose her neoliberal agenda. The State of the European Union is deeply worrying: a radical change is necessary if we want to bridge the growing gap between European citizens and the EU.”

Martin Schirdewan

“Ursula von der Leyen and the European Commission have still not lifted vaccine patents. On climate action, the Commission is far too unambitious and falls far short of what science demands. This is a sobering result. The Left will continue to raise questions about fair taxation of companies and about migration and respect for international law. Trying to turn the EU into a military union as a solution to the Afghan disaster is evidence of incompetence. The EU should be a Union for peace.”

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