5 issues from EU chief’s first State of the Union speech – #NewsEverything #Europe

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Ursula von der Leyen

picture copyrightReuters

picture captionUrsula von der Leyen changed Jean-Claude Juncker within the EU’s prime job in December

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen has delivered her first State of the Union tackle, outlining her imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the European Union (EU).

The Fee drafts EU legal guidelines, enforces EU guidelines and has the facility to impose fines on member states if needed.

Listed here are 5 key areas Mrs von der Leyen touched on in her wide-ranging speech.

1) Local weather change

The EU chief spoke at size in regards to the atmosphere, and introduced an formidable plan to chop the bloc’s greenhouse fuel emissions.

She stated the goal was to scale back emissions by at the very least 55% from 1990 ranges by 2030 – up from an earlier purpose of 40%.

“There is no such thing as a extra pressing want for acceleration than on the subject of the way forward for our fragile planet,” Mrs von der Leyen stated.

“Whereas a lot of the world’s exercise froze throughout lockdowns and shutdowns, the planet continued to get dangerously hotter,” she added. “The 2030 goal is formidable, achievable, and helpful.”

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EU leaders will meet to agree on the goal subsequent month, however resistance is anticipated from some jap European international locations that largely depend on coal for his or her power. Most states again such a goal, nonetheless.

Mrs von der Leyen additionally stated 30% of the €750bn (£677bn; $859bn) post-coronavirus restoration bundle agreed by EU leaders final month could be dedicated to climate-friendly tasks.

“I’ll insist that restoration plans do not simply convey us out of the disaster but in addition assist us propel Europe ahead on this planet of tomorrow,” she stated.

2) Coronavirus

Unsurprisingly, the EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic featured prominently within the tackle.

“A virus a thousand occasions smaller than a grain of sand uncovered how delicate life will be,” Mrs von der Leyen stated. “The pandemic and the uncertainty that goes with it will not be over and the restoration continues to be in its early levels.”

However Mrs von der Leyen praised the EU’s multi-million euro restoration bundle, which was agreed after 4 nights of talks, as a “likelihood to make change occur by design, and never by catastrophe”.

“We turned worry and division between member states into confidence in our union,” she stated. “We confirmed what is feasible after we belief one another.”

media captionEuropean Council President Charles Michel stated the deal was a “pivotal second”

The previous German defence minister additionally introduced {that a} international well being summit would happen subsequent 12 months in Italy, and that the EU would construct a brand new company for biomedical analysis and growth.

3) Brexit

Whereas the UK’s departure from the EU solely acquired a short point out within the speech, it prompted the loudest applause from the European Parliament members within the viewers.

“[Trade] talks haven’t progressed as we might have wished… and that leaves us little or no time,” Mrs von der Leyen stated.

“[The withdrawal agreement] can’t be unilaterally modified, disregarded or dis-applied. This a matter of regulation, belief and good religion,” she added.

media captionLeyen: UK and EU “collectively agreed” on withdrawal settlement
The EU chief was referring to a contentious invoice printed by the UK authorities that seeks to overrule components of the Brexit cope with the EU.

The UK authorities has stated the invoice is a “important security web” wanted within the occasion {that a} commerce settlement just isn’t reached. However the authorities has additionally stated it breaks worldwide regulation, and the EU needs the laws scrapped.

“The Withdrawal Settlement took three years to barter and we labored relentlessly on it. Line by line, phrase by phrase,” Mrs Von der Leyen stated.

4) Expertise

The Fee’s president known as for extra funding in know-how so the EU may hold tempo with the US and China.

“We wish to cleared the path, the European approach, to the Digital Age: primarily based on our values, our energy, our international ambitions,” she stated.

Mrs Von der Leyen stated that 20% of the €750bn coronavirus restoration bundle could be invested in digital tasks, with an extra €8bn spent on the following technology of supercomputers.

She known as for a “twin inexperienced and digital transition” at a time when “the worldwide aggressive panorama is basically altering”.

5) Migration

5 years on from the 2015 migrant disaster, Mrs von der Leyen stated it had precipitated “many deep divisions” throughout the EU and “a few of these scars [are] nonetheless therapeutic as we speak”.

“If we’re all able to make compromises we are able to discover a answer,” she instructed the viewers. “Migration is a European problem and all of Europe should do its half.”

She spoke after a fireplace destroyed a migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, leaving hundreds of migrants and refugees homeless and bringing the problem to the fore as soon as once more.
media captionThe BBC’s Jean Mackenzie frolicked chatting with individuals on the camp simply six months in the past and displays on her experiences there

“The pictures of the Moria camp are a painful reminder of the necessity for Europe to return collectively,” Mrs von der Leyen stated.

“Subsequent week, the Fee will put ahead its New Pact on Migration,” she added. “We are going to take a human and humane strategy. Saving lives at sea just isn’t non-compulsory.”

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