Is the EU now finally on the slide and going downhill?

It seems so, judging by the official photo of von der Leyen’s ‘State of the Union’ speech

Photo © EU Commission, montage © Facts4EU.Org

Largely-ignored speech doesn’t once mention Brexit or UK relations

Each year the EU Commission’s President – currently Ursula von der Leyen – gives a ‘State of the Union’ address to the EU Parliament. Unlike the US President’s State of the Union speech to Congress, which the EU has failed to emulate, the EU Commission President’s speech increasingly fails to create headlines.

Yesterday, so unremarkable was it that even the avidly pro-EU Politico news site made it their eighth story – and that article mostly contained charts of how many times certain words appeared.

HM Queen Elizabeth II finally got an official mention

British readers might be interested to hear that the death of our beloved Monarch finally got a mention. This is the first time we have seen this in any official press release since her passing one week ago. (We don’t count a tweet from someone in the EU Commission President’s office as being an official statement.)

Other than that, von der Leyen’s speech was mostly about Ukraine, Russia, and the resultant energy crisis. Those who are fighting for their country and their lives on the frontline will no doubt be reassured to learn that the EU Commission is looking to remove international mobile roaming charges for Ukrainians.

The EU Commission’s ‘mea culpa’ – finally admitting they got something wrong

Possibly the only section of interest was the part of the speech where Frau von der Leyen admitted that the EU Commission had been asleep at the wheel for years over Putin’s Russia. She did not phrase it quite like that, naturally.

Here is what she actually said :-

“One lesson from this war is we should have listened to those who know Putin. To Anna Politkovskaya and all the Russian journalists who exposed the crimes, and paid the ultimate price. To our friends in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and to the opposition in Belarus.

“We should have listened to the voices inside our Union – in Poland, in the Baltics, and all across Central and Eastern Europe. They have been telling us for years that Putin would not stop. And they acted accordingly.

“Our friends in the Baltics have worked hard to end their dependency on Russia. They have invested in renewable energy, in LNG terminals, and in interconnectors. This costs a lot. But dependency on Russian fossil fuels comes at a much higher price.

“We have to get rid of this dependency all over Europe.”

- Ursula von der Leyen, 14 Sept 2022

© EU Commission

‘Unity’ and ‘solidarity’ in a divided EU

There were naturally many mentions of unity and solidarity, without which no EU Commission speech would be complete.

This happened on the same day – to cite just one example – that EU Commission officials leaked plans to suspend EU budget funds to Hungary, and the day after they officially announced action being taken against Slovakia over financial regulations.

In addition there were some Pravda-style comments about proposed new EU Commission initiatives. The disputes with the UK - the EU’s second-largest export market - were not mentioned. Readers can read the entire speech here.


Perhaps the staff in the EU Commission’s press office agree with us that their President’s State of the Union address was so boring they needed to jazz it up with a ‘dynamic’ photo. In so doing of course, they gave us our headline.

We await in eager anticipation for the day when the EU Commission President will announce :-

“Comrades, I am pleased to tell you that tractor production is up once again and targets for the five-plan have been met.”

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[ Sources: EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Thurs 15 Sept 2022

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