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 Full text 
Wednesday, 16 September 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

State of the Union (topical debate) (debate)

  Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, I would like to thank President von der Leyen for the State of the Union. I think it’s an ambitious programme and it is absolutely clear that this Commission wants to do things differently. There is a change of course; we hear that and we very much support that. We also think that it reflects the results of the elections last year, where European citizens were asking for that change, very well. So we thank you for that.

But, of course, now it comes down to action. The words need to be translated into action, and there is sometimes still a big battle ahead of us, a big battle that we also need to have here in the European Parliament. I want to direct these words to my colleagues, who quite often applaud the nice speeches of the Commission and the statements that are being made but which are not being translated into law-making that really makes that change. We are still supporting subsidies for fossil fuels, we are still not strong enough on the rule of law, and we are still not fighting to make sure that refugees are being helped on this continent. These issues now need to be taken care of. After the words, the real work has to start, and we are willing to do that together to make sure that this Europe becomes a green and a social Europe.

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