Von der Leyen resets the agenda in a visionary speech for Europe

Comment: She had a shaky start in the job, but last week’s state of the union address suggests the EU Commission president can provide the leadership Europe needs

20th September, 2020
Von der Leyen resets the agenda in a visionary speech for Europe
Ursula von der Leyen was not a popular political figure in German politics as defence minister, yet she is impressing as EU Commission president. Picture: Bloomberg

It was an important week for Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president. Her first “state of the union” address to the European Parliament presented an important opportunity to set out her vision for the EU, while stamping her authority on the bloc’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This set-piece annual speech has become more and more important since it was first conceived in 2010 under José Manuel Barosso, the...

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