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State of the Union: Hovedpunkter

Her kan du læse hovedpunkter fra "The State of the Union speech" af President von der Leyen.

Hovedpunkterne stammer fra EUROPE DIRECT Newsletter n. 52 og er derfor på engelsk.

State of the Union address: Main points

“Today - courage has a name, and that name is Ukraine.”

From day one, Europe has stood at Ukraine's side. With weapons. With funds. With hospitality for refugees. And with the toughest sanctions the world has ever seen …”

Softening the blow from the high energy prices

We have to get rid of this dependency [on Russian fossil fuels] all over Europe … Therefore we agreed on joint storage. We are at 84% now: we are overshooting our target … Russia keeps on actively manipulating our energy market … In addition, the climate crisis is heavily weighing on our bills.

  “We are proposing a cap on the revenues of companies that produce electricity at a low cost … Our proposal will raise more than 140 billion euros for Member States to cushion the blow directly.”

“…Major oil, gas and coal companies are also making huge profits. So they have to pay a fair share – they have to give a crisis contribution.”

Speaking of which: This is the moment to say that the Commission started delivering on its promises: On 15 September it proposed an emergency intervention in Europe’s energy markets. The goal is to tackle dramatic price rises and ease the pressure they are putting on households and businesses across the EU. Check out the Factsheet on the emergency intervention proposal and Q&A

“So we will develop with the Member States a set of measures that take into account the specific nature of our relationship with suppliers – ranging from unreliable suppliers such as Russia to reliable friends such as Norway.”

The future of the Stability and Growth Pact

“In October, we will come forward with new ideas for our economic governance.”Member States should have more flexibility on their debt reduction paths … There should be simpler rules that all can follow.”

Standing up for democracy 

Paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the President said the time had come invest in the power of democracies.

The President went on to repeat her strong support for the people of the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and call for a European Political Community, saying the Commission will set out its ideas to the European Council.

 “But we should not lose sight of the way foreign autocrats are targeting our own countries … We need to better shield ourselves from malign interference … This is why we will present a Defence of Democracy package … It will bring covert foreign influence and shady funding to light.”

Speaking of which: Two days after the delivery of the State of the Union speech, the Commission adopted a European Media Freedom Act, a novel set of rules to protect media pluralism and independence in the EU. The proposed Regulation includes, among others, safeguards against political interference in editorial decisions and against surveillance.

“… in the coming year the Commission will present measures to update our legislative framework for fighting corruption … will raise standards on offences such as illicit enrichment, trafficking in influence and abuse of power, beyond the more classic offences such as bribery … and will propose to include corruption in our human rights sanction regime, our new tool to protect our values abroad.”

Developing on the Conference on the Future of Europe

The President emphasized the importance of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

“It was a sneak peek of a different kind of citizens' engagement, well beyond election day … And after Europe listened to its citizens' voice, we now need to deliver … The Citizens' Panels that were central to the Conference will now become a regular feature of our democratic life.”

Next, the President referred to the Letter of Intent she had sent to President Metsola and Prime Minister Fiala, where she had outlined a number of proposals for the year ahead that stem from the Conference conclusions. “They include for example a new initiative on mental health. We should take better care of each other. And for many who feel anxious and lost, appropriate, accessible and affordable support can make all the difference.”

Praising young people today, the President said it was important to put their aspirations at the heart of everything the EU does and enshrine solidarity between generations in the Treaties.

“So as this Parliament has called for, I believe the moment has arrived for a European Convention.”