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In her first State of the Union Address on 16 September, President von der Leyen takes stock of achievements of the past year and present priorities for the year ahead. She also sets out how the Commission will address the most pressing challenges facing the European Union and ideas for shaping the future of the EU.

Marking this major speech, the IIEA, the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland hosted a live-streaming of the address, followed by a webinar panel discussion assessing the key themes explored and President von der Leyen’s outlook and priorities for the future of Europe.

About the Speakers:

Senator Regina Doherty serves as Leader of Seanad Éireann following her appointment by the Taoiseach in June 2020. She is also the Seanad Leader of Fine Gael. From June 2017 to June 2020, she served as Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection. She previously served Fine Gael Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, and was a TD for Meath East from Februay 2011 to February 2020.

David O’Sullivan currently serves as Chair of the European Policy Centre’s (EPC) Governing Board. He is former Secretary-General (2000-2005) and Director-General of DG Trade (2005-2010) at the European Commission. In a distinguished career, spanning three decades, he most recently served as Ambassador of the EU to the United States (2014-2019). Prior to this, he was Chief Operating Officer in the European External Action Service and was responsible for establishing the EU’s diplomatic service. Following retirement, he currently serves as Senior Counsellor with Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

Dr Mary C. Murphy holds a Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration and is a Lecturer in Politics with the Department of Government and Politics, University College Cork. She specialises in the study of the EU and Northern Ireland politics. Her latest book Europe and Northern Ireland’s Future: Negotiating Brexit’s Unique Case was published in April 2018. After receiving her BA from the Univeristy of Limerick, she completed her MSSc in European Integration and PhD at Queens Univerity.

The discussion will be moderated by Martina Fitzgerald, Journalist and Author.