Yesterday, on 15 September, Ursula von der Leyen delivered the yearly State of the Union Address. In her speech, she looked back on the past year and presented Europe's priorities for the coming year. Von der Leyen addressed all major themes with great optimism, stating that:
"In the biggest global health crisis for a century, we chose to go it together so that every part of Europe got the same access to a life-saving vaccine. In the deepest global economic crisis for decades, we chose to go it together with NextGenerationEU. And in the gravest planetary crisis of all time, again we chose to go it together with the European Green Deal."
Soon, the Single Market will celebrate its 30th anniversary. This has been the driving force behind Europe's competitive appeal and job market, and a great enabler of progress. In the future, the Digital Single Market will become ever-more important. As such, Europe has made ambitious proposals to:
- Contain the power of major platforms
- Underline the democratic responsibility of those platforms
- Foster innovation, and
- Channel the power of Artificial Intelligence
Von der Leyen called "digital" the "the make-or-break issue", a view which the Member States share. Furthermore, she highlighted the importance of investing in European tech and its sovereignty. This way, we can shape the digital transformation to be in line with European values.
The current production issues for semi-conductors clearly illustrates the importance of this issue. These chips make anything that is digital, work. Europe has a smaller share in the entire value chain than before, and we are currently reliant on outside providers. Going forward, Europe is determined to put more focus on tech sovereignty.