EC President Ursula von der Leyen to give annual speech to parliament

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is to give her annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament on Wednesday in the French city of Strasbourg. Likely talking points include her proposals to help tackle the climate crisis - set out in July - and frozen efforts to reform the bloc's migration system could also feature in her speech, dpa reported.

The latter is in sharper public focus following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, expected to trigger an exodus of refugees.

The EU, along with much of the world, is figuring out how to work with the radical Islamist group. The bloc remains a major donor of humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people.

Also high on the EU agenda is an ongoing spat with Poland and Hungary, linking disbursal of EU funds to compliance with rule-of-law standards.

Von der Leyen, a German conservative political heavyweight and ally of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been at the helm of the EU executive branch since September 2019.

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