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Climate, jobs, health: Find out what's next for Europe in tomorrow's State of the Union address

Watch European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s speech live on Wednesday from 8am.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

WHAT’S NEXT FOR Europe? What were some of the biggest challenges and most notable achievements of the year just gone? And what ideas will shape the future of the European Union?

All of these questions will be tackled by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union speech this Wednesday, September 15.

The speech will be live from 8am on RTÉ News Now. It can also be watched via the European Commission’s website here, as well as on the Commission’s social media channels, and via the Institute of International and European Affairs website. Once the speech ends, the IIEA will host a webinar panel discussion analysing the key themes.

Although the full text of the speech is tightly guarded ahead of time, it’s expected that President von der Leyen will reflect on an exceptionally challenging year for Europe and the rest of the world, and will outline how the EU plans to meet its goals on climate neutrality, tech, health and more over the next 12 months.

climate-strike-6th-of-march-2020 A climate march along Brussels' Rue de la Loi in March 2020. Source: XAVIER LEJEUNE/European Union, 2020

Particular highlights during what von der Leyen called a “pivotal” time for Europe include a contribution of €1 billion to COVAX to improve vaccine availability in lower income countries worldwide, the signing of a post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK, proposals to drive a 55% reduction in the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and continued financial support for EU member states during the Covid-19 crisis.

This will be the European Commission’s tenth annual State of the Union address, and the second for von der Leyen during her presidency.

As in previous years, it’ll be followed by a debate with Members of European Parliament, where citizens’ concerns will be brought to the table and the EU’s future challenges discussed.

Let’s shape the Europe we want to live in. Watch as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen looks back on a momentous year and presents Europe’s priorities for the next 12 months. The tenth annual #SOTEU speech streams at 8am on Wednesday, September 15. Watch it here.

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