On 16th September 2020, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, delivered her first State of the Union (SOTEU) speech, setting the tone for the rest of her five-year term.
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After a four day marathon run of negotiations, the 27 Heads of State of the EU reached an agreement on both the Recovery Fund—a large fund to support the post-COVID recovery across the EU—and its new long-term budget and priorities, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027. While leaders across the EU are now hailing the deal as a “win” for their own voters and priorities, inevitably the negotiations were fundamentally driven by domestic interests and priorities, and predictably, international development has suffered as a result of the cuts.
Last week, the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled her new proposal for a post-COVID-19 economic Recovery Fund, alongside the EU’s future priorities and budget. But what do the proposals mean for Europe’s role on the international stage?