We have become accustomed to viewing EU bureaucrats in a tolerant manner and considering matters outside the nation-state as boring.
Yet the maiden State of the Union address of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was exceptionally political, substantial, and ambitious.
Von der Leyen did not mince her words about two issues of great concern to Greece in her speech before the European Parliament.
She stated that the chasm between the EU and Turkey is growing.
On the refugee-migration issue and the situation in Moria she declared that the Dublin Regulation concerning migration must be replaced by a new European migration management system.
Von der Leyen said that on both the Greek-Turkish and migration issues Greece and Cyprus can count on the EU’s absolute solidarity.
Regarding the coronavirus pandemic she called for a stronger European health union.
She also underlined two issues that she had stressed at the beginning of her tenure – the urgent need to confront climate change and the digital revolution.
She presented her vision that the EU should lead the way in transitioning from the current fragility to a new vitality and that major decisions should be taken with a qualified majority.
We have become accustomed to viewing the EU as timid, lacking resoluteness, and slow in acting.
That criticism is largely justified.
Nevertheless, contrary to the message of populists there is only one solution – building a stronger and more dynamic EU and it is worthwhile to fight to achieve that objective.