EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has given her third State of the Union address. The annual speech in the European Parliament is an opportunity for the Commission President to take stock and discuss her priorities over the coming months.

So, what is the state of the EU? Von der Leyen covered several topics during her speech to MEPs, yet there was a common thread running throughout: the fight to protect democracy.

For the European Commission President, Russia’s invasion on February 24 represented not just an attack on Ukraine, but an assault on the entire post-war international system. Putin’s energy blackmail against Europe is “a war on our energy, a war on our economy, a war on our values and a war on our future”.

The only response, for von der Leyen, is solidarity between peoples and states committed to common democratic values, both in response to the energy crisis and the cost of living, and solidarity with Ukraine as it fights to defeat the Russian invasion force.

Today, 15 September is the International day of Democracy. Part of President von der Leyen’s speech also covered the Conference on the Future of Europe and the future of EU democracy, including the announcement that deliberative democracy is here to stay: “The Citizens’ Panels that were central to the Conference will now become a regular feature of our democratic life.”

What’s the state of the EU? How should Europe respond to rising energy prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Are democracies stronger than authoritarian states when they display solidarity based on common values? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: © European Union 2022 – Source : EP


17 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU-Reform Proactive

    Why can’t one find condensed, unbiased expert analyses & comparisons from all previous undertakings & goal settings given by former ECSC, EEC, EC & EU Presidents (ECSC= European Coal and Steel Community), during their annual ‘State Address?

    What has significantly improved for all? Political promises, dreams vs reality. Open borders & all welcome- are no achievements- but an increased risk.

    • “What is the EU”? https://europe.unc.edu/toolkits/chapter-3/

    If one relies on, believes in, and feels safe within an experimental political system- where EU democratic values, the rule of law and eternal prosperity conforming to sustainable economic development &growth seem guaranteed and preached constantly- then – What’s the problem?

    Despite- in 2022 Europe’s people have to cope with another war on Europe’s bloodied soil! Shame!

    Overreliance? Complacency? Naivety? Arrogance?

    Let’s begin with the ‘friend’- who morphed into the worst ‘Council villain’ in the Council of Europe since WWII- while Poland & Hungary are quickly punished for minor legal indiscretions:

    • How Putin held Europe hostage over energy | FT Energy Source
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPAOx-3CS6o

    • How Germany got stuck paying for Russia’s war
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMiQeS1XywA

    • No. China Is Not Going To Collapse… Yet:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V30VyMMce9s“

    …the thread running through the president’s address to her MEPs (not us commoners?): “the fight to protect (their kind) democracy.”

    Q: a useful diversion? There are many shades of functioning democracies and parliaments around the globe. So many, that the IPU was formed to house them all.
    https://www.ipu.org/about-ipu/members

    Quote:
    “The IPU is inching ever closer to universal membership, with 178 Member Parliaments out of the 193 countries in the world – from huge nations like China, India and Indonesia, to the tiny States of Cabo Verde, San Marino and Palau. Our Members represent more than 6.5 billion of the world’s 7 billion people.
    We also have 14 Associate Members – mostly parliaments drawn from groups of nations, or similar bodies. They include the Arab Parliament, the European Parliament and other parliamentary organizations in Africa and the Americas.”

    Cynically, dictators & less open societies tend to build the biggest parliaments and are preaching democracy as well. Why? Examples:

    • “The House of the People” in Bucharest- built by a previous dictator in a previous Union called ‘Nicolae Ceausescu’! The largest parliament building in the world.

    • North Korea- The constitution defines North Korea as “a dictatorship of people’s democracy”

    • “China has the largest parliament with 3,000 members (the Chinese National People’s Congress.) The world’s smallest parliament is in Micronesia, with just 14 MPs.” Further-

    • “China ‘gave’ a US$140 million parliament building to the failed state of Zimbabwe. The new parliament was built by China’s Shanghai Construction Group & fully paid for by Beijing. It took 42 months to complete.” Even Lesotho wasn’t spared from China’s democracy drive- some time ago.

    https://youtu.be/KdcaM8DiJXQ

    • China is building a new Egyptian capital in the desert under its Belt and Road Initiative

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASKUWiPB8jI

    And that’s not all that China does in Africa & globally! Unbelievable & mind-boggling projects. Not speeches, dreams or promises- but mega-projects built & paid for by China, followed by a secret smile by its chairman.

    Sorry to ask again- but what is ‘the state of the EU’ really Mrs Von der Leyen?

  2. avatar
    Natasha

    Is one even allowed to express their doubts about the state of democracy ?

  3. avatar
    Γεώργιος

    Baroness Ursula leads the destruction of EU

  4. avatar
    JT HK

    When some populist representatives of European congresses have already formed an alliance, these elected representatives are putting individual interests above Europe. They are betraying Europe and killing democracy.

  5. avatar
    JT HK

    The pathological development of democracy is putting political parties in a anti-China and Russia tug of war game. The outbreak of the Russia and Ukraine conflict appeared to have damaging the rope. When the time for the rope to break, when both parties are bringing the people to do the game, the whole audience are witnessing the damaging of the rope, i.e. the social and economic fibres, the dire consequence is apparent. Only those brain dead cannot or pretended not seeing…A very interesting and inspiring article> https://priceonomics.com/a-history-of-tug-of-war-fatalities/

  6. avatar
    Lydia

    You have a lot of guts to ask us such a question. As if our opinion will ever be taken into account? What exactly you are trying to discover by asking this question?

  7. avatar
    JT HK

    There is no democracy in Europe, election is the only thing remains. Justine Gustainis in his article “Demagoguery and Political Rhetoric: A Review of the Literature”, mentioned that in ancient Greek Greece, “demagogue” literally was a “political leader”. Today, it is referred to someone who appeals to greed, fear and hatred, a politician who achieves or hold power by stirring up the feeling of audience or leading them despise which the considerations of action weigh against.”<>. Have not yet read the whole article, therefore no comment can be made. However, his opening paragraph is sufficiently a good description to remind the current decay of democracy particularly in this era of great instability. EU has been successfully maintaining peace for Europe and with the collective strength to protect small European states against the turbulent power of globalization since the end of World War II. A united Europe is apparently not serving the interest of the US-led Anglo-Saxon states as demonstrated by the BREXIT. How EU has disappointed its citizens is not of the way it is built but what kind of leaders which have been sending to hold power of the Congress and the Commission, it appears that they have been acting exactly like “demagogues” sacrificed the people’s interests by implementing irrational sanctions which is hurting and killing more European brothers and sisters particularly those of Russia and Ukraine.

  8. avatar
    Olivier

    what you call democracy in Europe is the dictature of lobbies… and american multinational… let give sovereignity back to the peoples of Europe….

  9. avatar
    George

    the state is: “down the drain” …
    “back to the caves”
    “100 years of progress destroyed”

  10. avatar
    Kimmo

    As always, with so many cooks in the kitchen, there will inevitably be some initial sputtering in the face of new situations affecting member states in different ways, but in the end, I’m positive a common response will be found.

    • avatar
      JT HK

      Too many cooks is not a problem, whether the cooks are cooking for the wellbeing of citizens or for MAGA is most important. Who are the PEOPLE of EU? Ukrainians and Americans? Where the PEOPLE/citizens of EU find protection?

    • avatar
      Kimmo

      are you sure you’re not exaggerating? Developing international relations is one of the EU’s goals. The US, with all its shortcomings, is surely a better alternative than the other major actors, Ruzzia and China?

  11. avatar
    Kimmo

    Hee hee, Bulgarian chap criticizes the EU without actually anything to go on, I respond, he blocks me for disagreeing. Sensitive toes….

  12. avatar
    JT HK

    It is heard that EU parliamentary members have formed a cross national alliance with the US congress members. Isn’t this a very obvious betrayal of EU citizens? A stupid and open act to draw foreign intervention of EU internal affairs? It seems that some Europe politicians are willingly submitting themselves to subservience to foreign political power.

  13. avatar
    JT HK

    The result of the test is very clear.Politicians holding foreign passports are betraying EU citizens.

  14. avatar
    Lili

    I am positive, but it is not always easy to deal with some many states and so many differences, but unitated we will win and succeed!

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