State of the Union Address: Mixed Reactions from Austria

Vice-President of the European Parliament, Otmar Karas (ÖVP), said von der Leyen had addressed all major issues for the future and also announced the necessary next steps. It is important, said Karas, that von der Leyen points out the basics of the European idea in a particularly emotional way. “We need to revive the idea of ​​Europe.” This spirit must also emanate from the EU Parliament.

On the other hand, Europe Minister Caroline Adstadler (ÖVP) called for a “now from talk to action”. In a radio broadcast, she said dealing with the pandemic and its consequences as well as green and digital change were “tremendous challenges” for the European Union. In addition, there is an “urgent need for more speed” in the development of a common European asylum system.

At the same time, Edstadler welcomed the fact that the EU “wants to play a stronger geopolitical role” in the future. The minister said that when it came to the rule of law, there should be no “false tolerance”. But the “eye-level dialogue” must also continue.

praise and criticism

Andreas Schieder, head of the SPÖ delegation in the European Parliament, missed the “big story”: “Many important topics such as care, digitization, climate protection and the expansion of the Health and Defense Union, were sincerely stopped, and the real feelings did not want to arise,” he said. Cheddar in one broadcast.

He welcomed the promise to donate an additional 200 million doses of vaccine and “more common participation” in foreign and security policy. At the same time, he warned that Afghanistan has shown that “armament and militarization are not the way to calm the trouble spots of the twenty-first century.”

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Speech by: von der Leyen on the State of the European Union

Climate protection, digitalisation, Afghanistan and above all the pandemic are the dominant issues in the European Union. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered a speech on the State of the European Union on Wednesday.

Thomas Weitz, MEP for the Green Party and co-chair of the European Green Party, called for “more coordination and coherence of a genuine common foreign policy, the core of which is conflict prevention and peacebuilding”. Weitz said joint efforts must also be made to achieve climate goals. “Governments of member states must recognize that the climate crisis will not only have enormous economic, security and political consequences, but also social and political consequences.”

‘Europe’s weaknesses on the horizon’

“The union is very weak at the moment,” Claudia Gamon commented to NEOS MEP. Crises such as the pandemic, Afghanistan and climate change would illustrate Europe’s “vulnerabilities”. “In general, we are not prepared for such crises for a long time,” Jamon said. The only way out you see is far-reaching reforms in the European Union, which must now be addressed at a conference on the future of Europe: “What comes at the end of these reforms is clearer to me today than ever before: a viable, efficient, citizen-oriented United States of Europe” .

Now it is about Europe not only talking, but also presenting,” said Christoph Little, president of the European Movement Austria (EBÖ) – a platform for pro-European forces. “Only if Europe works together on key issues for the future, from climate protection to post-pandemic reconstruction, can we meet the future expectations of the younger generation and survive the growing competition of regimes.”

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