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Europe’s annual checkup

EU Commision chief Ursula von der Leyen

EU Commision chief Ursula von der Leyen


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen takes the mic on Wednesday for her annual state of the union address.

She’ll look to tout successes in reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, supporting Ukraine, advancing Europe’s transition to clean energy, and boosting semiconductor production on the continent.

But not all is well in the Union. Inflation is stubbornly high, and the economy is sputtering as Germany, the largest member, slips into recession. Moreover, big questions about EU enlargement loom as the Union considers whether to formally invite Ukraine to begin the process of joining.

Is this a campaign speech? Many will hear it that way. The next European Parliament elections will be held in June 2024, and while von der Leyen hasn’t yet thrown her hat in the ring officially, she is widely thought to be considering it.


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