Briefing 
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Jean-Claude Juncker’s first State of the Union address and debate 

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will deliver his first State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday morning, followed by a debate on achievements to date and the Commission's 2016 work programme.

The State of the Union debate is a key part of Parliament’s scrutiny of the Commission's work, which began with its hearings of the Commissioners-designate last year.


The Commission President has presented assessments of political developments in the EU and plans for the future every year since 2010. This time, it's different. For the first time the State of the Union speech will be delivered by a Commission President who was actually elected, rather than just approved, by the European Parliament.


Parliament expects Mr Juncker to present a review of what has been achieved since the last EU elections and an overview of upcoming projects and challenges but also his long-term vision of European integration.


Note for editors

As the lead candidate of the party which won most seats in the European elections of 22-25 May 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker was elected by the European Parliament in a secret ballot on 15 July 2014 to become President of the new European Commission which took office on 1 November 2014 for a five-year term.

In 2014, for the first time, the European Council proposed to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the Commission (Spitzenkandidat) "taking into account the elections to the European Parliament and after having held the appropriate consultations". An amendment to the Treaty on European Union by the Treaty of Lisbon, in force since December 2009, was the legal basis for this new, more democratic procedure.

Prior to the 2014 elections, presidential candidates were for the first time nominated and enabled to present election programmes and run campaigns for the position.

The first State of the Union address to the European Parliament was delivered by José Manuel Barroso on 7 September 2010.


Procedure: Statement by the European Commission President

Debate: Wednesday, 9 September

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