State of the Union (European Union)
The State of the Union address is the annual speech addressed by the President of the European Commission to the European Parliament plenary session in September. Made in the image of the State of the Union address in the United States, the State of the Union address of the European Union has been instituted by the Lisbon Treaty (with the 2010 Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission - Annex IV(5)), in order to make political life of the Union more democratic and transparent than it hitherto was.
The Framework Agreement thus also foresees that the President of the European Commission sends a letter of intent to the President of the European Parliament and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union that sets out in detail the actions the European Commission intends to take by means of legislation and other initiatives until the end of the following year. The address is then followed by a general debate on political situation of the Union, the so-called State of the Union debate.
José Manuel Barroso
The first State of the Union speech of the European Union was pronounced on 7 September 2010 by President José Manuel Barroso. There he dealt mainly with the economic situation and unemployment issues;
|“||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;
|“||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.
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."
9 September 2015 marked the first address held by Jean-Claude Juncker. It was titled "Time for honesty, unity and solidarity" and opened with the "imperative to act as a union" in order to address the refugee crisis.
|“||There is not enough Europe in this Union. And there is not enough Union in this Union.||”|
Notes and references
- "Official Journal of the European Union - INTERINSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENTS - Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission". Retrieved 2015-10-07.
- BBC News (2010-09-07). "Barroso laments EU jobs crisis in keynote speech". Retrieved 2010-10-28.
- "European Commission: State of the Union Address 2010". Retrieved 2010-10-28.
- State of the Union 2010 - José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, European Commission
- Barroso calls for eurobonds and transaction tax, France 24
- State of the Union 2011 - José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, European Commission
- State of the Union 2012 - José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, European Commission
- Transcript of the 2010 address
- Transcript of the 2011 address
- Transcript of the 2012 address
- Transcript of the 2013 address
- Transcript of the 2015 address
- State of the Union 2015 (includes full speech, speech transcript, letter of intent, closing remarks, Report on Progress on the European Commission's 10 Priorities)