Policy Hub:
State of the European Union


Since 2010, the President of the European Commission has come to the European Parliament in each September of the Commission’s term of office to discuss with MEPs what the Commission has been doing over the previous twelve months, S/he also explains what the commission intends to do in the coming year and also sets out details of its longer-term vision and priorities for the future.

In more recent years, there has been a trend towards emphasising the participative nature of the event, with the opportunity for MEPs to challenge what the President reports and proposes, and the event has come more to be described as a “Debate” as opposed to a unidirectional “Address”.

Past addresses have varied considerably in terms of focus areas and tone – some judged upbeat, others downbeat, some bold, others timid etc. etc. The extent to which issues directly relevant to ROBUST has also fluctuated – President Juncker’s 2016 address was remarked upon by many for its complete absence of reference to anything “territorial”.

The content and tone of the event will also tend, unsurprisingly, be impacted upon by, and make reference to, global and other events of particular significance and concern to Europe and the EU – for example, the economic crisis 2008+, the eurozone crisis, the refugee crisis, terrorist threats, BREXIT and, most recently, the Covid pandemic.

The linked sample of addresses from the last decade, highlight elements relevant to rural and/or urban matters.



Last updated: 14 September, 2020