Ursula von der Leyen set out her vision for the year ahead to MEPs in Strasbourg.

Ursula von der Leyen set out her vision for the year ahead to MEPs in Strasbourg.

Posted on September 16, 2021

Speaking to the Parliament, the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, highlighted the European Commission achievements of the past year and presented the priorities for the year ahead, including continuing the vaccination efforts in Europe and speeding up vaccination globally, as well as strengthening the pandemic preparedness; leading the digital transformation that will create jobs and drive competitiveness, while ensuring technical excellence and security of supply; ensuring fairer working conditions and better healthcare, and creating more opportunities for Europe’s youth to benefit from the European social market economy.

As expected, she stressed in her State of the Union address the success of the EU’s vaccination program and pointed to the bloc’s achievements in exporting 700 million vaccine doses to 130 countries around the world. She promised to deliver 200 million more doses to low-income countries by the middle of next year.

Equally important for the nurses is the European Health Union. The European Commission is building a strong European Health Union, in which all EU countries prepare and respond together to health crises. The EU’s ambition to strengthen Brussels’ health powers is coming on the table. A new EU-wide health preparedness and resilience mission envisages an investment of €50 billion by 2027. Commissioners Margaritis Schinas, Stella Kyriakides and Thierry Breton explained, at a Press Conference, what and how HERA will develop.

When it comes to Women’s rights, VDL pledged to propose a new EU law to combat violence against women by the end of the year. The proposal will cover online and offline abuse and was widely welcomed by women’s rights groups. The EFN will work with the European Commission and the European Parliament to provide frontline evidence to make this legislation fit-for-purpose.

As regards climate change, the European Commission presented detailed plans in its Fit for 55 package published in July 2021, which will now be taken up by the European Parliament and the Council. The EFN will follow the green deal closely and come up with concrete proposals related to nursing and climate change footprint.

Finally, the European Commission’s President mentioned several important flagship initiatives, linked to the EFN lobby & advocacy agenda:

  • The achievements linked to the EU vaccination strategy and COVID-19 digital certificates, and the importance of keeping up the efforts to tackle the disparities of vaccination rates across Europe, as well as being a leader in speeding up vaccination globally and strengthening the pandemic preparedness;
  • Closing the climate finance gap through collaboration with global partners, and among others by setting up a Social Climate Fund;
  • Pursuing a digital transformation that will generate employment opportunities and competitiveness, whilst ensuring technical excellence and security of supply;
  • Promoting fairer working conditions and improved healthcare, while creating opportunities for European youth through the European social market economy;
  • Creating a European Care Strategy to support carers and those receiving care across the life course – from early childhood education to long-term care.