President von der Leyen’s State of the Union Address: Strengthening the Soul of Europe

On today’s International Day of Democracy (September 15), the High Representative / Vice President Josep Borrell
(in the photo) and Vice President Dubravka Šuica issued a joint statement: “Whether you care about climate change, jobs, the economy or racial and social justice, your voice will only be heard and your vote will only count if you live in a democracy. In these difficult times, the EU will continue to be a strong and outspoken defender of democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout the world and within the EU.

“Collective efforts are needed, along with a new perspective of supporting democracy that delivers to citizens. This work begins at home. Promoting free and fair elections, ensuring the rule of law, and freedom of the media. are pillars for creating a space in which all citizens feel free and empowered. More than ever, we must defend the ability of free and pluralistic media to provide timely access to reliable and accurate information, and combat misinformation. We will continue working to make our own democracies more resilient and innovative, benefiting from the opportunities offered by new technologies We will increasingly create opportunities to engage citizens through a range of deliberative democracy approaches.

“The Action Plan for European Democracy sets out measures to promote free and fair elections, strengthen freedom and pluralism of the media and combat misinformation. Around the world, we are increasing our financial and political support for those who, regardless of their gender or origin, promote democratic participation and inclusion, guarantee institutional checks and balances and hold decision-makers accountable. We are building alliances with all those committed to the defense of universal rights and freedoms, with democratic governments, but also with international organizations, civil society organizations, parliaments, political parties, independent media, bloggers, human rights defenders and activists This year has seen the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, a unique and timely opportunity for European citizens debate on e Europe’s challenges and priorities.


“The Conference places citizens at the center of policy-making in the EU. We are committed to listening to Europeans and following up on the recommendations made by the Conference. Their vision can drive change towards a democracy fit for “the future. is just the beginning. With this, we renew our commitment to build healthier, stronger and more equitable societies for all, where everyone is included, respected, protected and empowered. In this way we will strengthen our democracies.”

The full statement is available online.

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