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News announcement15 September 2023Directorate-General for Communication1 min read

State of the Union 2023 - In brief

On 13 September, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, opened the new political year with her annual speech, the “State of the Union”, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

"It is the moment to show to the young generation that we can build a continent where you can be who you are, love who you want, and aim as high as you want."

In her speech, Ms von der Leyen, reflected on what the European Union (EU) achieved in the past year and what it will focus on in the coming year, the last of her mandate. An important topic was climate change; for instance, she announced a new initiative on wind energy. Another topic was digitalisation; the EU will make its supercomputers available for new AI initiatives. To help the economy, she announced measures to reduce paperwork for small and medium-sized companies. A major topic was, of course, Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. The EU will continue to support Ukraine as long as needed, she said, adding that “the future of Ukraine is in our Union”.

This address makes great topical content for classroom discussions about the European Union and its future and can serve as an important part of a broader lesson on Europe.

2023 State of the Union - Main initiatives

Read the speech

Watch the speech



Publication date
15 September 2023
Directorate-General for Communication
Type of content
  • News