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Defense, budgetary rigor, violence against women… The essence of von der Leyen’s speech on the state of the EU – World

  • 1 A summit on European defense in 2022
  • A defense summit will be organized by the French presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2022, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced. “The time has come for Europe to move up a gear” to “defend itself against cyber attacks, to act where NATO and the UN are not present and to manage crises in time,” he said. she explains. The creation of a European rapid reaction force of 5,000 soldiers has been under discussion for several months and the American withdrawal from Afghanistan has revived the debate by underlining the military deficiencies of the old continent. But the project is not unanimous.

  • 2 Budgetary discipline: not to repeat the “mistake” of the last financial crisis
  • The European Union “will not repeat the mistake” made after the last financial crisis when a hasty return to budgetary austerity caused the continent to relapse into recession, promised Ursula von der Leyen. “The lessons of the financial crisis could serve as a warning. At the time, we declared victory too early and we paid the price for it, ”admitted Ursula von der Leyen, confirming the opening of a debate on the reform of European budgetary rules which should lead to their easing. . The Commission plans to reinstate in early 2023 the Stability Pact which had been temporarily deactivated at the start of the crisis. But Ursula von der Leyen has warned that she hopes for a deal before that date as divisions among member states raise fears of dragging talks.

  • 3 A law against violence against women proposed by the end of 2021
  • The European Commission will propose by the end of the year a law to fight against violence against women, announced Ursula von der Leyen, estimating that “too many women must have lived in fear during this pandemic”. “It is about effective criminal prosecution, prevention and protection measures”, both online and in real life, said in front of the European Parliament, the head of the European executive, which has the initiative legislative in the European Union.

  • 4 Afghanistan: € 100 million in additional humanitarian aid
  • The European Union will provide an additional 100 million euros in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to avoid “a humanitarian disaster”, announced Ursula von der Leyen. The European Union had already announced the quadrupling of its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and neighboring countries to bring it to 200 million in 2021. “We must do everything to avoid the real risk of famine and humanitarian disaster major (…) ”, justified Ursula von der Leyen. And to specify that this aid would be part of a “new, broader set of support measures for Afghanistan” which will be presented “in the coming weeks”.

  • 5 Anti-covid vaccine: 200 million additional doses to poor countries
  • The European Union will give 200 million additional doses of covid-19 vaccine to poor countries by mid-2022, in addition to the 250 million doses already promised, said Ursula von der Leyen. “It is an investment in solidarity and it is also an investment in global health,” she told the European Parliament. He also pointed out that, while in the European Union more than 70% of adults are vaccinated, “less than 1% of vaccine doses have been administered in poor countries”. These donations are made mainly through the Covax international distribution mechanism, which is supposed to allow 92 underprivileged states and territories to receive free vaccines funded by more prosperous nations.

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