By Alessandra Silveira and Pedro Madeira Froufe (Editors)
The (near) future of the European Union: Remarks on the “State of the Union” Address, September 14, 2022
On September 14, 2022, Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered her third “State of the Union” address in Strasbourg. The two previous addresses by the President of the Commission were marked by the pandemic. Another kind of crisis conditioned this year’s “State of the Union” address: war. One key idea emerged from the address and was underlined by the President of the Commission: the war we face – which gives rise to many of the problems the Union and its citizens will have to deal with – was caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Quite clearly, there is a direct perpetrator of the war being waged in Europe and, in a similar vein, an indirect culprit for the subsequent economic crisis, inflation, and the social and migratory crisis triggered by the war and which the Union will have to overcome: the Russian Federation and the Russian power centered and personalized in Putin. In other words, there was an assertion of political principle at play here; an attempt to make the Union’s geopolitical position clear. Similarly, Ursula von der Leyen proclaimed the impossibility of the European Union (i.e., the historical and values-based framework of integration) being defeated: “this is about autocracy against democracy.” In that sense, unless we relativise the preconditions of integration and the “Union of law”, there is an irreconcilability in conceptual and civilizational perspective that determines the proclamation that Ukraine cannot succumb in these terms.Continue reading “Editorial of September 2022”