Written by Eva-Maria Poptcheva,
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address to the European Parliament, and the subsequent debate, on 13 September come in the context of the ongoing broader reflection on the future path of the European Union. This has been intensified by the first-ever withdrawal of a Member State from the Union; although lamented by most, this is often cited as an opportunity to rebuild the Union on stronger grounds.
The debate will therefore feed into a larger reflection process, to which Parliament contributed three landmark resolutions, launched by EU-27 leaders in the Rome declaration of 25 March 2017. As announced in President Juncker’s 2016 State of the Union speech, the Commission published a white paper on the future of Europe, identifying five scenarios for the further course of the Union. The Commission President has recently pointed to a sixth scenario to be revealed in his State of the Union speech.
The State of the Union debate forms part of the process for the adoption of the annual Commission Work Programme and thus plays an important role in identifying major political priorities to be agreed in interinstitutional dialogue.
This briefing is an update of an earlier one of September 2016.
Read the complete publication on ‘The 2017 State of the Union debate in the European Parliament‘ on the European Parliament website.