Von Der Leyen outlines his vision for a stronger Europe – Eurasia Review
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, presented a vision for a stronger and more independent Europe based on trust and the values of liberal democracy in a special address Thursday to business, government and community leaders. civil society participating in the World Economic Conference The Forum’s virtual event, the Davos Agenda.
Faced with the COVID-19 crisis, she spoke of European democracies showing their strengths. “The pandemic has demonstrated that democracies are the most powerful, resilient and enduring form of government,” she said.
Democracy means freedom of research, freedom of science and independent choices for investors, she added. Europe has delivered over 1.2 billion doses of vaccines to its citizens, with over 80% of Europe’s population doubly vaccinated.
She also highlighted Europe’s leadership in discovering mRNA vaccine technology and exporting it around the world. “Europe is the only region in the world to export or donate vaccines to other countries throughout the crisis, with 1.6 billion doses of vaccines manufactured in Europe having been delivered to 150 countries.”
On the road to recovery, Europe’s most valuable asset is confidence, von der Leyen said. “Trust science, for our health. Trust between countries, for cooperation. Confidence in functioning societies, for competitiveness. Trust will be essential to build the world of tomorrow.
Trust will also be essential for European citizens to adopt the European Green Deal, a set of policy initiatives whose main objective is to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050. The EC has issued the first NextGenerationEU bond for green and sustainable investments in the EU. This represents, she said, the largest green bond issue in the world, adding that it was heavily oversubscribed.
“These developments demonstrate a clear sign of international confidence and confidence in Europe,” she said.
Although von der Leyen said Europe is well positioned, it needs to do more to build supply chains we can trust and avoid single points of failure. The issues range from reliance on non-renewable energy to lack of local manufacturing of microchips and semiconductors to Europe’s gas crisis.
“Europe’s global semiconductor market share is only 10%. And today, the bulk of our supply comes from a handful of producers outside of Europe. It is an addiction and an uncertainty that we simply cannot afford. We have no time to waste. And that is why I am announcing here today that we will propose our European chip law in early February,” she said.
She underlined that trust is also essential in the international arena: “Right now, the world needs trust in democracy as much as it needs trust between democracies.” Referring to the intense dialogue with Russia, she stressed that Europe would not return to the old logic of competition and spheres of interest, where whole countries were treated as possessions or backyards.
“We want this dialogue. We want conflicts to be resolved in the bodies that have been formed for this purpose. But if the situation deteriorates, if there are new attacks on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, we will respond with massive economic and financial sanctions.
“And what I want us to never forget is this. Russia and Europe share geography, culture and history. We also want a common future,” she said. added.