Tag Archives: Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen visits Israel

Brussels 14.06.2022 The European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen visited Israel on her Middle East trip including Palestine, Joradan and Egypt.

“Today, I would like to focus briefly on three of these challenges” von der Leyen said, while addressing the audience at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “The first is the challenge stemming from autocracies, the second is climate change, and the third is democratic backsliding. The most direct of these challenges comes from authoritarian regimes outside our borders. And indeed, what we witness in these days, Russia’s aggression of Ukraine, is a war against democracy itself.”

“It is a war against the idea that the people of Ukraine can take sovereign decisions about their own future. Year after year, Ukraine’s diverse and vibrant civil society has pushed for positive change and has strengthened the country’s democratic institutions. This is exactly what the Kremlin is fighting against” the president of the Commission continued.

“It could not be more symbolic that the first Russian bombs on Kyiv fell right by the gate of a Holocaust memorial and that the Russian propaganda is built on the abominable rhetoric of ‘denazification’ against a democratic Ukraine. We see with great worry the age-old threat of scapegoating the Jewish people in times of war. I know that Israel has helped Ukraine with tonnes of humanitarian aid and a field hospital, and you have welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees to your land” von der Leyen has underscored.

Metsola:”Europe is future”

Strasbourg 09.05.2022 The President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola addressed the opening speech of The State of the Union 2022 at the European University Institute in Florence.
In her speech ‘Is Europe fit for the next generation?’, she encouraged European citizens and leaders to believe, to be confident and to use this difficult moment in time as an opportunity for change.

“…In my first address as President of the European Parliament I described myself as part of the generation that sees no old and no new Europe. We are the first of the Erasmus generation, the last of the Wałęsa, Kohl and Havel generation.

“What I meant was that I am part of the Europe generation. 18 years ago on the 1st May, I was standing in Valletta with what felt like the entire country, at midnight staring across the sea in our Grand Harbour as we counted the minutes and the seconds until Malta, together with nine other countries, joined the European Union as Member States.
I still recall the feeling of unbridled possibility, hope and belief in the future. A sort of sense of homecoming, of victory in the potential of our people, of relief, of joy – feelings shared by millions across Europe.

“With war in Europe, today, it is that spirit, that sense of purpose, of enthusiasm, of a clear direction, that I want our European project to re-capture.
People in Ukraine, in Moldova and Georgia, and still in the Western Balkans, are now looking to Europe, with the same sense of belonging and hope.

“And I want people to believe as we did. And to do that we need to understand that we are not just an economic bloc, we are not just about free movement, or about abolishing roaming charges. For my generation, Europe is – as cliché as this might sound – about a shared dream. About shared values. About a shared future, about coming together.

“To us, Europe is the future. It has always been the future.
However, we cannot deny that over the last years polarisation in our societies has increased. There are still too many people who feel lost, let down and left out. At the same time many will now look to Europe and to our institutions for leadership. And we need to be able to respond, we need to be able to lead. We must counter the anti-EU narrative that takes hold so easily and so quickly: mis- and dis-information, enhanced by bots and fabricated in Russian troll factories.

“Europe is about the defence of multilateralism. The understanding that we can only face the future together…”

MEPs discuss aid to Ukraine

Strasbourg 05.04.2022 In a debate with French Minister Delegate Klinkert and President von der Leyen, MEPs said internal EU unity and solidarity is crucial now and for the future reconstruction of Ukraine.

On May 5, Wednesday, MEPs discussed the social and economic consequences for the EU of Russia’s war in Ukraine. They applauded the sixth packet of sanctions against Russia and the Ukraine recovery package, both outlined by Commission President von der Leyen. MEPs underlined the need to also support EU citizens and businesses affected by the war, calling for unity among member states. They also demanded support for countries facing the brunt of the effects of the war, whether as a consequence of their dependence on Russian gas and oil, or because of their hosting of a large number of Ukrainian refugees.

French Delegate Minister for Integration Brigitte Klinkert and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen opened the debate.

Most MEPs have underlined the need to defeat Putin but also suggested that the best way to do this was to minimise the costs faced by the EU itself.

This would allow unity to be kept among member states, cushion the effects on households and businesses, and allow the EU to better help Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction. MEPs underlined the plight of those in the EU having to choose between buying food or heating their houses and also asked the Commission to consider on a case-by-case basis whether to go ahead with new legislation that could add additional burdens on already-struggling businesses.

Borrell visits Kyiv

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrel visited Kyiv on Friday, April 8, together with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, to reaffirm European solidarity with Ukraine and to announce additional support for its defense against Russia’s aggression. They met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal and visited the town of Bucha.

“There are two words to describe what is happening in Ukraine: failure and horror. Failure of the Russian army to overcome the courage of the Ukrainian people and horror over the indiscriminate killings and attacks against civilians,” High Representative Borrell said after the meeting with President Zelenskyy.

He stressed the EU’s appreciation for the bravery and morale of the Ukrainian people, as well as for the resilience of the authorities in maintaining the functioning of the state structures and the capacity to govern, despite the ongoing brutal invasion. With his Ukrainian counterparts Josep Borrell discussed in detail their current needs and acknowledged that their most urgent needs are weapons arms.

“We have already allocated one billion euro to provide weapons to the Ukrainian Army to defend the country and its people. In a couple of days, we will allocate €500 million more. We will make sure that these resources will be tailored to your needs, to provide you with the arms you need to fight to resist and to win,” stressed High Representative Borrell also at the meeting with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

In the wake of massacres by the Russian occupation forces in Bucha, he recalled the EU’s strong condemnation of the heinous crimes and widespread violations by Russian troops. He underlined that there cannot be impunity for war crimes and outlined the EU support to the ongoing national and international accountability efforts, including the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The High Representative said that the European Union will help, too, with documentation and prosecution of war crimes committed by Russian occupation troops in Ukraine.

“We will help the Ukrainian Prosecutor General to present the proofs in front of the International Criminal Court. Our civilian EU Advisory Mission will deploy their tools and capacities in order to support Ukrainian authorities in this task.”

The EU Advisory Mission will be supporting the Ukrainian Prosecutor General in providing training and donating equipment to ensure safe investigation and collection of evidence on the ground. The EU is also launching a dedicated €7.5 million euro project to support the investigations with ensuring large data collection on missing and disappeared persons.

During his visit in Ukraine High Representative Borrell [europa.eu/!tWtJHj]announced the return of the EU Delegation back to Kyiv, after its temporary relocation to Rzeszow in Poland. In talks with Prime Minister Shmyhal they agreed to accelerate preparations for the next EU-Ukraine Association Council, to take place in the near future.

EU-China video-Summit

Brussels 30.03.2022 The 23rd EU-China summit will take place on 1 April 2022 via video conference.

President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, accompanied by High Representative Josep Borrell, representing the EU, will meet Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in the morning and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the afternoon.(Image: Shanghai, China)

The main focus of the summit will be on the war in Ukraine, the engagement of the international community to support Ukraine, the dramatic humanitarian crisis created by Russia’s aggression, its destabilising nature for the international order and its inherent global impact.

The leaders will also discuss the state of bilateral relations and areas of shared interest such as climate change, biodiversity and health, as well as ways to ensure a more balanced and reciprocal trade relationship.

The EU will take the opportunity to stress the need to uphold the rules-based international order and universal values. The EU will call for the resumption of the EU-China human rights dialogue in a substantial way.

Leyen at Davos Forum

Brussels 20.01.2022 “There is a question lingering out there since the start of the pandemic: Are our democracies strong and fast enough to face the incredible challenge of COVID-19? Can democracies deliver?” ‘State of the World’ said in her special Address president von der Leyen at the Davos World Economic Forum, via video-conference:

“I have no doubt. The pandemic has not only demonstrated our democracies’ ability to act, it has also shown that democracies are the more powerful, the more resilient and the more sustainable form of government. We have not conquered COVID-19 yet, but if we are on our way to finally end this pandemic, it is because we have mRNA vaccines developed by European scientists”.

“This is thanks to our values that these scientific breakthroughs have been possible. Values such as liberties of research, freedom of science, and independent choices for investors. All of this means that we are much better equipped today to fight this virus than two years ago. Europe has delivered a total of over 1.2 billion doses of vaccines to its citizens.

“Over 80% of adults in Europe are double vaccinated. But what is even more important: We are the only region in the world that has continued to export or donate to other countries. From the beginning, and throughout the whole pandemic. A total of 1.6 billion doses made in Europe have been delivered to 150 countries. And with industry producing more than 300 million doses of vaccine every month in Europe, there will be more to come. This shows that we can trust in democracy to deliver”.

EP: Tribute to late president Sassoli

Strasbourg 17.01.2022 Today evening, the European Parliament will pay tribute to late President David Sassoli, who passed away earlier this month, in a ceremony in Strasbourg. Council President Charles Michel,
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron and former Italian Prime Minister and former MEP Enrico Letta, as well as political group leaders, will speak during the ceremony. Sassoli had been a member of the Parliament since 2009 and was elected President in July 2019 for the first half of this legislature.

In Rome, President David Sassoli lied in state on Thursday 13 January from 10.00 to 18.00 in Sala della Protomoteca of the Campidoglio. The funeral service took place on Friday 14 January at 12.00 in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

Leyen supports Europe defence Union

Brussels 07.01.2022 “…We agree that there is a need for a genuine Defence Union” the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said, while attending event the EU event in Paris, hosted by President Macron.
“A Defence Union that prepares us for new threats in the future. For example, the next hybrid attack, no matter where it comes from. So let us agree on our priorities using our Strategic Compass, which is a kind of White Paper on defence. I am delighted that the French Presidency has committed itself to this issue. I have high expectations of the discussion on this subject at the March Summit. I believe it is high time for the Europe of defence to move up a gear”.

The top EU executive has also reminded about the strain relations with Russia: “…here are considerable tensions at our doorstep, as shown by Russia’s military pressure on Ukraine and its intimidation of Moldova. I am delighted, therefore, that a country with the political weight and experience of France is taking on the Council Presidency at such a delicate time. France’s voice resonates far and wide. And Europe is dear to France”.

The statement was made in the context of the inauguration of the rotating EU presidency of France from January to July 2022. Starting from 1 January, France will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. It will play a central role, together with its European partners, to move forward on negotiations to ensure a more sovereign Europe, a new European growth model, and a human-centred Europe.

In particular, France will be responsible for organising the meetings of the Council of the European Union, fostering cooperation between the Member States and handling the Council’s relations with the European Commission and Parliament. The French Presidency of the Council of the EU will contribute to reaching compromises and decisions that serve European citizens in several key fields such as the ecological and digital transition, protection and adaptation of our social model, better protection of borders and reaffirming the importance of European values.

In order to address these priorities, a number of events and informal meetings are being organised by the French Presidency throughout France, as well as in Brussels and Luxembourg where formal Council meetings are held.

Biden receives Leyen in White House

Bruxelles 10.11.2021 “I had a very productive meeting today with President Biden in the White House. We have met several times in the last couple of weeks. And we have been meeting at the G20 Summit in Rome and at the COP26 in Glasgow. There, we have launched together several initiatives on the topics of climate change, for example, or trade or other geopolitical issues” the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said, after her visit of the White House, Washington.

“Therefore, today, we were focusing mainly on questions of pressing international topics. First of all, of course, we have been discussing the pandemic and that, despite the progress in vaccination in the United States and the European Union, we have to be very vigilant that this does not turn into a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And we have to do our utmost that the vaccination rates are increasing. We are also aware and determined to make sure that we keep our goal in mind that we want to vaccinate 70% of the global population by next year. So there is still a lot of effort to do” the EU top executive continued.

“We were then focusing on the situation on the EU-Belarus border. This is not a bilateral issue of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. This is a challenge to the whole of the European Union. And this is not a migration crisis. This is the attempt of an authoritarian regime to try to destabilise its democratic neighbours. This will not succeed. We know the patterns. We are used to that, by seeing how there was the attempt to influence our democratic elections. We see the cyberattacks. We see the misinformation. Now, we have this hybrid attack by instrumentalising migrants at the EU-Belarus border. And we have to protect our democracies from this kind of cynical geopolitical power play. This is what I discussed with President Biden at the White House meeting.

“This then led to the question of Ukraine. We agree that we fully support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and we also fully support Ukraine in its attempt to modernise and transform the economy and to build up resilience, also on the chosen path.

“We have then discussed the situation on the island of Ireland. It is very important that the agreement found in the Protocol and the Withdrawal Agreement are in place, because they are the possibility to keep peace and stability on the island of Ireland. So we are willing, as a European Union, to show the utmost flexibility, and we have shown utmost flexibility within the Protocol, but it is important to stick to what we have agreed and signed together, to work with that.

“And finally, we have been discussing infrastructure. It is the initiative ‘Build Back Better World’ and the ‘European Global Gateway’ that are reinforcing each other. We know that we build on the same principles. And now we are looking into identifying together the most promising projects where we can invest in, in our common initiatives. So that was a brief summary”.

#SOTEU: Photo reportage Strasbourg Plenary

Strasbourg 15.09.2021 Aleksy Witwicki photo reportage: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers her state of the union address #SOTEU at the European Parliament Plenary on Wednesday (15 September), outlining the future perspectives for the Commission policies.

Von der Leyen, a former German defence minister who took the reins of the EU executive two years ago charts some new policy or the 27 bloc, particularly underlining the importance of strategic thinking on the issues of Defence, security, and migration.

Unlike per predecessor Jean-Claude Juncker after the highly enthusiastic speech the president of the Commission preferred to avid the meeting with press, and left Strasbourg without media democratic scrutiny, confirming once again her reputation of “virtual” head of the Insitution.

#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Ursula von der Leyen, State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Hemicycle European Parliament State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org

#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 European Parliament State of the Union Address 2021 Greetings. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org

#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Ursula von der Leyen, European Parlamenst State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 MEPs European Parliament State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Coffee breake European Parliament State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Sanitary COVID19 rules European Parliament State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Vice-president Pedro Silva Pereira, European Parlamenst State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Ursula von der Leyen, State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Comissioner Didier Reynders interview, State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
#SOTEU STRASBOURG 15.09.2021 Ursula von der Leyen, State of the Union Address 2021. (c) Aleksy Witwicki photo correspondent http://www.witwicki.org
« Older Entries