Ursula von der Leyen - European Commission

Highlights from President Ursula von der Leyen's first State of the Union

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen yesterday delivered her first state of the union speech since coming into the post. President von der Leyen began by speaking about how the coronavirus pandemic had laid bare a series of fragilities across the EU, including in healthcare systems, the environment and the EU's community of values, and urged that this fragility should become vitality.

The president presented the new programme EU4Health and thanked the European Parliament for its support in securing and increasing funding for it. She then went on to emphasise the role of the European Green Deal in the recovery process and proposed an increase of the 2030 target for emission reduction to at least 55%. The president said that in order to start reaching the goals of the Green Deal, 37% of the NextGenerationEU budget would go towards it, investing in lighthouse European projects related to hydrogen, renovation and electric charging points. 

President von der Leyen also discussed data and Europe's digital future, revealing that a European cloud will be developed as part of NextGenerationEU, which would allow universities, companies and researchers within innovation ecosystems to access data and collaborate. 

To read the speech in full, click here