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Health plans, climate set to top agenda at State of the European Union speech

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is set to outline goals for the EU in her annual State of the Union address Wednesday. The speech is likely to acknowledge the bloc’s public health achievements during the 2020 pandemic and address future concerns such as digital targets to catch up with the US and China.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech to lawmakers in the European Parliament in Strasbourg marks the start of the political year for the 27-member bloc. The annual address takes stock of the past year and outlines the goals and policy measures for the upcoming political year.

The Covid-19 crisis is set to dominate the agenda with the EU chief likely to highlight the bloc’s public health and economic package achievements in 2020. She is expected to focus on the vaccination programme in a bid to dispel the narrative of supply problems earlier this year and highlight the bloc’s rapid catch-up, with more than 70 percent of adults in the EU fully vaccinated so far.

FRANCE 24’s Dave Keating examines some of the issues confronting the EU today:

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