State of the European Union address. Ursula von der Leyen has dedicated a lot of time to pandemics, young people and climate change

  • Ursula von der Leyen talked a lot about the Green Deal. It appreciated, among others, that Poland is an exporter of electric buses
  • – We must have new possibilities for answers and be united to protect the borders – said von der Leyen, referring to, inter alia, the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border
  • “You don’t need rockets or an army anymore to cause serious damage.” You can paralyze the plans of the industry, or the operation of hospitals or schools with the use of a laptop – she said
  • The head of the European Commission emphasized that it is important for the EU to improve intelligence cooperation. “We need to improve interoperability,” she assessed
  • – In some countries, worrying processes are taking place. In the beginning there is dialogue, but it is not an end in itself. Its results are important. The right to an independent judiciary – that people across Europe must rely on – spoke of the rule of law
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Coronavirus. Ursula von der Leyen: we believe in science

Ursula von der Leyen began by referring to the coronavirus pandemic, which has become a great challenge, but also gave her time to “look for yourself”. – In this global crisis, we chose cooperation. We decided that we would cooperate – she said.

– I thank the College of Commissioners and Parliament from the bottom of my heart. We can and can be proud of it. But the coronavirus is not behind us yet. There are many problems in society – she added.

– Over 70 percent our adult society has been fully vaccinated. We were the only ones to share and donate more than half of our vaccines to the rest of the world. We have delivered over 700 million doses to Europeans and we have delivered over 700 million vaccines to 130 countries around the world, said von der Leyen.

Von der Leyen noted that a large part of the EU vaccines has been shared with the world. – A pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. We believe in science, we help Europe and the rest of the world. We did what it was necessary to do, we did it in the European way. And it worked. (…) However, we cannot look at the future completely calmly. Our first priority is to speed up immunization around the world. So far, only 1 percent. doses have been made available in poor countries. This is a large scale of injustice. This is one of the geopolitical problems of our times – emphasized the head of the European Commission.

Ursula von der Leyen talked about how efficiently it was possible to introduce covid passport in the EU. In her opinion, the pace of change is a great success.

Climate change and young people. Ursula von der Leyen: we must not delay

“When I think about the EU, I believe we will pass the exam,” she said. Ursula von der Leyen appreciated young people and pointed out that they set an example when it comes to caring for the planet. In her opinion, the EU should be like these young people. – I sent this message to indicate what are the priorities for the coming months.

Ursula von der Leyen devoted a lot of time to the young. – We offer them the Alma program, which will provide them with work experience in another member state. That they could establish contacts, acquire a European identity, acquire competences. The Union must have a vision of how to speak to young people. I propose that we make 2022 the year of European youth. Let us sacrifice it to raise the value of the young – she added.

Ursula von der Leyen talked a lot about the Green Deal. It appreciated, among others, that Poland is an exporter of electric buses. The politician called on other players of the international arena to join the fight for the climate.

– We will propose an additional EUR 4 billion by 2027 to fight climate change. The main economies – from the US to Japan – have ambitions for climate neutrality and they must be backed by concrete plans, the head of the European Commission told the EP.

As she recalled, the EU allocates USD 25 billion annually to finance climate-related activities.

Economy and technology. Ursula von der Ley: great goal

– We have to raise structural issues across Europe. Digital skills are important – she noted. – We have to consider how the crisis affected our economy. Has debt increased and what sectors require attention. A review of these issues is a plan for the coming weeks, she said. – Soon we will celebrate 30 years of the common market.

The President of the European Commission drew attention to the huge demand for digital semiconductors, which are used in all technologies that surround us. In her opinion, we are dependent on Asia in this respect, and therefore it is crucial for Europe to be productively self-sufficient. “It’s a huge, challenging target,” she said. As an example of a similar challenge, she cited the Galileo system, which works, and many people thought it was unattainable.

Ursula von der Leyen spoke about social rights, that jobs should be fairly paid and healthcare should be strong. – The pandemic has taught us something – emphasized the politician. “We will propose a European healthcare strategy,” she added.

– The single market is the engine of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, argued von der Leyen, adding that it should be protected from fragmentation. “The pandemic left huge scars that affect our economy,” she emphasized.

EU security. Von der Leyen: we have to be a leader

– The nature of the threats we deal with is changing very quickly. These are hybrid attacks and cyber attacks (…). You no longer need rockets or an army to cause serious damage. You can paralyze the plans of the industry, or the operation of hospitals or schools with the help of a laptop. You can disrupt the course of entire elections by using a smartphone and appropriate software, said von der Leyen, arguing that the EU should focus on greater independence in the field of defense.

– Europe can and should be able and willing to do more itself (in terms of security). (…) We must ensure stability in our neighbors and in more distant regions. We must ensure the security of land and sea borders. If we do not act in time, when there is a crisis abroad, this crisis will knock on our door – assessed the head of the European Commission.

– We are investing in a platform that will help counteract cyber attacks – she said. – We must be a leader in cybersecurity. We need a cybersecurity policy – he adds. The President of the European Commission devoted a lot of time in her speech to cyber security.

– We must have new possibilities for answers and be united to protect the borders – said von der Leyen, referring to, inter alia, the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.

The President of the European Commission indicated the need to deal with the problem of illegal migration, but at the same time emphasized that it is necessary to help those who flee the war.

– We need a common assessment of the threats facing us and a common approach to dealing with them. Therefore, during the French presidency, together with President Emmanuel Macron, we will convene a summit in Toulouse devoted to European defense – said the sixth chief of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

The French presidency of the EU falls in the first half of 2022.

The head of the European Commission emphasized that it is important for the EU to improve intelligence cooperation. – We have to improve interoperability. We are already investing in common European platforms, from fighters to drones and cyberspace. But we still have to think about new ways to use all possible synergies, ‘she said.

She added that cybersecurity is also a challenge for the EU. ‘That is why we need a European cyber defense policy, including provisions on common standards under the new European Cyber ​​Resilience Act,’ said von der Leyen.

Afghanistan. Von der Leyen: Avoid Hunger

We will increase humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by EUR 100 million. We must do everything to avoid the real risk of hunger and a humanitarian catastrophe in this country, said the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in the European Parliament on Wednesday in her speech on the state of the EU.

– We support the Afghans. We must do everything possible to avoid a real risk of severe famine and a humanitarian catastrophe. That is why we will again increase humanitarian aid to Afghanistan by EUR 100 million – as part of a new, broader Afghanistan support package, said the President of the Commission.

Rule of law. Von der Leyen: we have to defend it

– In some countries they take place worrying processes. In the beginning there is dialogue, but it is not an end in itself. Its results are important. The right to an independent justice system that people across Europe must rely on. We must defend what is the soul of Europe, she emphasized.

The President of the European Commission also mentioned the need to protect journalists. She recalled, among others about the death of Jan Kuciak, who was murdered by his profession.

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