What is the State of the European Union?
The State of the European Union is the annual debate in which Members of the European Parliament, directly elected by the citizens of the European Union, assess the Commission’s achievements of the past year and objectives of the year to come.
The President of the European Commission first delivers a speech, which is followed by an open debate with the MEPs. It takes place every year during the first plenary session in September.
Ensuring an EU that delivers
European Parliament, 14 September
A key moment for EU democracy
The State of the European Union debate aims to add to the transparency of the workings of the EU. It is also an exercise in political accountability, that of the EU executive body (the Commission) to the elected representatives of Europeans (the Parliament).
It is also an exercise in political accountability, that of the EU executive body (the Commission) to the elected representatives of Europeans (the Parliament).
SOTEU in the past
You can watchand downloadprevious SOTEU debates here
Read the press release
The European Parliament’s role
- As a directly elected body the European Parliament represents the citizens’ voice in shaping the role and the future of the European Union.
- For the first time in the European elections of 2014, the citizens indirectly elected the President of the European Union, who is accountable to the European Parliament, representing the citizens.
- This resulted in a greater involvement of the Parliament in the political agenda-setting of the European Union.
Discover the expectations of the European citizens towards the European Union in this infographic based on the latest Eurobarometer survey.
The Parliament collects citizens’ opinion on current and other major topics concerning European citizenship through the Eurobarometer, a public opinion tool available since 1973.
What eu citizens
The State of the European Union was legally instituted in 2010 in an interinstitutional framework agreement between the European Parliament and the European Commission as part of the annual political and legislative programming of the European Union. You can learn more about the State of the European Union process in this briefing.