You are currently viewing <strong>SOTEU: key points from EU’s annual speech</strong>

SOTEU: key points from EU’s annual speech

  • Post author:
  • Post category:News

Written by Raquel Velasco Ceballos

The State of the Union address held on 14 September 2022 has emphasized the unprecedented economic and geopolitical challenges that the EU and its member states are facing.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, has highlighted the main topics of the agenda and has provided initiatives for the coming year. As expected, the speech focused mainly on the war in Ukraine, and counted on the special presence of Olena Zelenska as the guest of honour at the hemicycle.

Von der Leyen remarked from the beginning EU’s support for Ukraine and its people through financial as well as military support. In addition, she has stated that Ukraine should be brought into Europe’s free-roaming area and to the single market. “It’s time to do that now.”

She continued addressing the energy crisis. “This is a war on our energy, a war on our economy, a war on our values and a war on our future”, von der Leyen remarked. Sanctions on Russia are here to stay, but the Russian aggression against Ukraine has caused a drastic increase in energy and electricity prices. This has forced the Union to reconsider a topic that has been for long on the agenda: energy independence from Russia. The Commission proposes to cut the EU’s dependency on Russian fossil fuels and to put into place measures to support Europeans in weathering this crisis, such as the control of electricity market revenues and the reduction of energy consumption.

On another note, Von der Leyen has made it clear that the future is about autocracy against democracy and has appealed to the unity of democracies in the world to mobilize and promote their values, stregthening democracy and judicial independence in our continent. The president has also left the door open for the future question on accessions to the EU: “I want the people of the Western Balkans, of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to know: You are a part of our family, your future is in our Union, and our Union is not complete without you!”.

Von der Leyen’s intervention was followed as usual by the intervention of MEPs from each European Parliament political group. Their statements clearly agree with that position and proposals the Commission has announced to face common challenges in the months to come. However, some questions remain open, and coordinated and effective action remains necessary to provide solutions and face the enormous challenges that the EU does and will continue to face.


European Commission (2022). State of the Union. 14 September 2022.