In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, MEPs will take stock of the von der Leyen Commission’s achievements to date.
Ursula Von der Leyen is expected to outline the impact of the Commission’s work in mitigating the COVID-19 sanitary and economic crisis, and to outline her vision for economic recovery, fighting climate change, and the situation in Europe’s neighbourhood.
Political group leaders will assess the Commission’s work and set out their views, as this annual State of the Union debate is a chance for MEPs to scrutinise the work and the plans of the European Commission and help set the future direction for the EU.
The debate will start with an address by President von der Leyen, followed by several rounds of interventions by political group speakers between which Ms von der Leyen will reply. The Council Presidency also take the floor.
Working conditions in Parliament for journalists in light of Coronavirus
The hemicycle press tribune and part of the visitor gallery will be open for journalists to attend the debate. Accredited media can continue to operate in Parliament’s premises and book services and facilities under the current rules, albeit with the required social distancing, therefore limiting the capacity of the press conference and working rooms.
ENG crews, studios or live connections can be booked as usual
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It is mandatory to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose at all times while in Parliament's buildings. This is to continue to ensure Parliament's operational capacity, while at the same time avoiding health risks for Members, staff and other persons working in and visiting the European Parliament. In addition, temperature controls will be carried out on all persons entering Parliament’s premises.
However, journalists may remove their mask for the duration of a recording (stand-ups, interviews, studio recordings) or asking a question in the press room. if the social distancing measures are respected. The press room on the ground floor (Paul-Henri Spaak building) is also now open again for those who need to work from Parliament, though social distancing rules remain in force.
The State of the European Union debate is a key moment to demonstrate the European Commission’s accountability towards the EU’s democratically elected representatives. It focuses on important issues like the coming economic recovery, climate change, youth unemployment and migration flows. This annual event is significant to promote a more transparent and democratic Union. It is an opportunity to bring the European Union closer to the citizens, highlighting the year’s core action points and challenges. Citizens’ rights and the democratic process are at the heart of this unique plenary debate.
The clean feed of the debate will be transmitted on EbS + (https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/ebs/live/2)
Enriched version (with graphics and illustrations) of the debate will be broadcasted on EbS (https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/ebs/live/1)
HD quality videos with transcript of the speech will be available here for download shortly after the beginning of the speech. https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/state-of-european-union-2020_16202_pk )
Photos will be available for download on the multimedia centre (https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/state-of-european-union-2020_16202_pk)