A year of contrasts for the European Union


The European way


Le chemin européen

2021 has been a year of contrasts for the European Union, filled with successes, but also difficult moments that have tested us.

It was another year of Covid-19 and all the challenges that come with a global pandemic. On the vaccine front, the European Union made great strides. The production and availability of vaccines for all Europeans was a feat of true collective solidarity. As the year draws to a close, this success gives us every reason to believe that we will defeat the virus, even as we see the emergence of new variants.

2021 was also the year of recovery. We began to roll out the most ambitious strategy for the recovery and transformation of our development model, based on our twin climate and digital transitions.

On the geopolitical front, it was a tough year. We witnessed rising tensions and events that have made Europeans aware that, more than ever, we must strengthen our ability to control our own destiny. We are striving for greater autonomy, in an open and interdependent world. We must make ourselves stronger because this will also make our alliances stronger. We want to be more influential in the world and a committed advocate for multilateral cooperation.

We have also seen that the Union and its Member States can make a real difference when it comes to the world’s most pressing challenges. Our commitment to climate neutrality by 2050, for instance, has encouraged other countries to follow suit. Our unity has also enabled us to stand firm in the face of dangerous provocations at our borders. And we have succeeded in convincing the global community to negotiate an international treaty on pandemics that will make the world better prepared, more resilient and more united in the face of future health crises.

Finally, we see every day that our model of development and cooperation, rooted in the fundamental values of dignity, freedom, democracy and respect, makes us ever more attractive in the world.

The European Union is growing stronger along its own chosen path. And this collective EU action to make our Union stronger has featured in many of my public interventions.

I am pleased to share some of them with you.

Charles Michel



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