Brussels, 14 September 2022 – Today, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave her third State of the Union speech at the European Parliament Plenary. Amid the war in Ukraine, the President focused on the EU’s response and support to the country and the subsequent energy crisis but failed to outline concrete proposals to tackle the consequences of these crises beyond Europe.
In response, Guadalupe de las Casas Escardó, Acting EU Director at The ONE Campaign, said:
“Today President von der Leyen set out the priorities for next year, yet concrete global proposals extending past our borders were lacking, failing to acknowledge the impacts of the war on African partners faced with deteriorating food security and climate-related disasters. The EU must act decisively before it’s too late to reinforce health systems, strengthen the EU budget and fight the climate emergency.
It can start by pledging its fair share of €715 million to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Malaria, and Tuberculosis at its replenishment conference on the 21st of September. President von der Leyen has the opportunity to clearly demonstrate the EU’s commitment to the fund which has invested more than US$4.4 billion in Covid response and mitigation efforts, enabling countries to avoid worst-case scenarios.
With COP27 just a few months away, and climate change set to push an additional 132 million people into poverty by 2030, the President mentioned that no country can combat the climate challenge alone. But words need to be accompanied by action and Team Europe must rise to the challenge and triple its collective climate finance to €75 billion per year.
It’s clear that lifesaving ambition must be backed by proportionate financing. Yet, what we risk seeing, in response to the growing number of crises, is the EU splitting the budgetary pie into wafer thin pieces. Therefore, the Commission needs to advance the mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework by early next year, increasing annual ceilings and providing a top-up to external financing. We must secure the means necessary to respond to future shocks, from the next pandemic to the climate crisis, and aid in the economic recovery of those partner countries who need it the most.”