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Lecture | Seminar

State of the European Union 2022: what is to come?

  • Didier Herbert (former Director in the European Commission and Head of the EU permanent representation in The Netherlands)
Friday 7 October 2022
EU Seminar
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Since 2010, each year in September the President of the European Commission gives a speech laying down their vision of where the EU is and what it should accomplish in the year to follow. The speech has been instituted by the Treaty of Lisbon as a way to increase transparency of EU’s work, and is closely followed by all those in politics, industry, and civil society who look to adapt their own activities to the priorities of the EU. What should they look for? Is the speech merely a ceremonial performance to project a sense of EU’s unity? An occasion for the President of the European Commission to claim a stronger political role in crafting the EU’s future? A moment where real stakes are laid for the policy battles to come?   

In this talk, Mr. Didier Herbert, former Chair of the European Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board, Director for internal market and EU ambassador to the Netherlands, will walk the audience through the 2022 State of the EU speech by President Ursula von der Leyen. Drawing on his experience inside the Commission, he will explain how the speech is intended by those who prepare it, how it is seen by its various audiences, and what it reveals about the real priorities of the Commission and the European Union in the undoubtedly turbulent year ahead of us.   

About the speaker

Mr. Didier Herbert started his career in the European Commission in 1987, and has held several high-ranking offices in directorates-general for External Relations and Internal Market, where he worked on issues of industrial policy, competitiveness and growth, and improving regulation. Between 2019 and 2022, he was the head of the EU’s permanent representation in the Netherlands.    

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