When it comes to defence, EU public discourse needs more consistency

On 14 September, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered her annual State of the Union address at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, her third one since becoming Commission President in 2019.

The 2022 State of the Union address was different in tone compared to the previous ones that von der Leyen has delivered. It was a wartime speech in which Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine took centre stage. At the very beginning, von der Leyen reminded everyone that ‘(n)ever before has this Parliament debated the State of our Union with war raging on European soil.’ The presence of Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska in the audience was also highly symbolic.

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