State of the Union address (European Union)

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European Parliament in Strasbourg, where State of the Union addresses by the Commission President have been made

The State of the Union address is the annual speech addressed by the President of the European Commission to the European Parliament plenary session. Made in the image of the USA's State of the Union, the State of the Union address of the European Union has been recently instituted by the Lisbon Treaty, in order to make political life of the Union more democratic and transparent than it hitherto was. The address is then followed by a general debate on political situation of the Union, the so-called State of the Union debate.

The first State of the Union speech of the European Union was pronounced on 7 September 2010 by President José Manuel Barroso.[1][2] There he dealt mainly with the economic situation and unemployment issues;[3]

The economic outlook in the European Union today is better than one year ago, not least as a result of our determined action. The recovery is gathering pace, albeit unevenly within the Union. Growth this year will be higher than initially forecast. The unemployment rate, whilst still much too high, has stopped increasing. Clearly, uncertainties and risks remain, not least outside the European Union.

In Barroso's second address, on 28 September 2011, he called for a eurozone bond and a financial transactions tax to stem the eurozone crisis and came out against the Franco-German proposal for an intergovernmental economic eurozone government - stating that that role belonged to the Commission;[4][5]

For the euro area to be credible – and this not only the message of the federalists, this is the message of the markets – we need a truly Community approach. We need to really integrate the euro area, we need to complete the monetary union with real economic union.

In Barroso's third address, on 12 September 2012, he called for a "decisive deal to complete the EMU", by which he meant a new European treaty to "move towards a Federation of nation states, ahead of the next European Parliamentary election in 2014.[6]

He also acknowledged the need for "a serious discussion between the citizens of Europe about the way forward," calling in particular on all pro-European forces to be mobilised against the anti-European agenda of "the populists and the nationalists."

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