Our opinion on the SOTEU 2023

We were invited by the European Commission Representation in Luxembourg to watch and comment live on the State of the European Union address.

Sep 13, 2023
Philippe Schannes holding a microphone and speaking at the representation of th European Commission in Luxembourg

For Volt Luxembourg as well as Volt Europe, Philippe Schannes, Vice-President of Volt Luxembourg and candidate for the 2023 Chamber elections, was invited by the European Commission Representation to participate in their SOTEU event. The "State of the European Union" speech is an address by the President of the European Commission to the plenary session of the European Parliament and is of utmost importance as it both reflects on the past and points the way forward for the EU.

We were able to watch Ursula von der Leyen's speech live and then discuss her strengths and weaknesses in a panel. The event itself was very lively and very positive - it showed again how important our European cohesion is. Philippe Schannes' main criticism of the speech was that it glorified the bad migration policy of recent years (people are still being left to die in the Mediterranean and African countries such as Libya are currently being actively paid by the EU to stop refugees from reaching the Mediterranean) and did not offer any solutions. Last but not least, Philippe Schannes mentioned von der Leyen's hypocrisy in her environmentalism, as her own conservative party's active push to overturn the Nature Restoration Law went completely unmentioned. It would have been an opportunity to speak to the conscience of her party colleagues if she herself is so insistent on environmental protection.

Nevertheless, Philippe Schannes praised the speech, which was very optimistic and idealistic, about enlarging the EU, strengthening the economy, and promoting youth.

You can find Volt Europa's position on the speech here:
SOTEU 2023: A Laundry List of Non-Legislative Proposals

We would like to thank the Representation of the European Commission in Luxembourg, its President Anne Calteux and the whole team for the nice reception.