Irish expectations for 2023 State of the European Union Address

The European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland, European Movement Ireland and the European Commission Representation in Ireland held a roundtable discussion this morning in Europe House ahead of the upcoming State of the Union debate in the European Parliament by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on 13 September 2023.

MEPs and key Irish stakeholders contributed to the discussion including Barry Andrews MEP; Ciaran Cuffe MEP; Pat Ivory, Ibec; Owen Reidy, ICTU; Ivan Cooper, The Wheel; Dr Eileen Culloty, Dublin City University; Conn McCarrick, Youth Speaker and Sorcha Tunney, Trócaire. The event was moderated by journalist Flor MacCarthy.

Commenting on the upcoming State of the Union address and debate, Barry Andrews MEP said: “The State of the Union is an opportunity for the President of the Commission to take a look back at the achievements we have made in Europe over the past year but also to reflect on the challenges that lie ahead. EU support for Ukraine, the European Green Deal and the energy crisis have dominated the agenda this year and will continue to do so. I look forward to discussing with the other speakers what this year’s SOTEU will mean for Ireland and also my own wishes for the speech.”

Commenting on the upcoming State of the Union address and debate, Ciaran Cuffe MEP said: "Under President Von der Leyen's leadership, the European Commission has taken concerted action to protect our planet against climate change, and it is vital that we continue on this path. A number of important environmental laws must be agreed before the next elections, including the Nature Restoration Law and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. I hope that President Von der Leyen and the European Commission will champion ambitious outcomes in both cases.

I would also like to see the President focus on what the EU can do to improve the everyday experience of European citizens. Prices of food, energy, housing, and credit are increasing, for example, as corporate profits drive inflation. The European Commission must do more to address this cost of living crisis and ensure that the benefits of the bloc's economic success are more fairly distributed. 

Finally, as war continues on European soil, the EU should not waver in its commitment to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people spread across its Member States, and I expect that this will remain a priority for President Von der Leyen."

You can watch back a recording of the event here.

The State of the Union address by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen takes place on 13 September 2023 and can be followed LIVE here.

What is the State of the Union (SOTEU) debate?