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QUOTES - EU's von der Leyen speaks to European lawmakers

State of the European Union address in Strasbourg

By Marine Strauss

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles on Wednesday, presenting herself as a champion of European business as she defended her track record ahead of elections next year.

Below are quotes from von der Leyen's fourth State of the Union speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.


"In the last five years, the number of clean steel factories in the EU has grown from zero to 38. We are now attracting more investment in clean hydrogen than the U.S. and China combined."


"Our wind industry, for instance, is a European success story. But it is currently facing a unique mix of challenges. This is why we will put forward a European Wind Power package – working closely with industry and Member States."

"We will fast-track permitting even more. We will improve the auction systems across the EU. We will focus on skills, access to finance and stable supply chains."


"Take the electric vehicles sector. It is a crucial industry for the clean economy, with a huge potential for Europe. But global markets are now flooded with cheaper Chinese electric cars. And their price is kept artificially low by huge state subsidies. This is distorting our market."

"So I can announce today that the Commission is launching an anti-subsidy investigation into electric vehicles coming from China. Europe is open for competition. Not for a race to the bottom."


"It is also one of the most significant bottlenecks for our competitiveness. Because labour shortages hamper the capacity for innovation, growth and prosperity."

"So we need to improve access to the labour market. Most importantly for young people, for women. And we need qualified migration."


"It is an economic and national security imperative to preserve a European edge on critical and emerging technologies. This European industrial policy also requires common European funding."


"We should aim to complete deals with Australia, Mexico and Mercosur by the end of this year. And soon thereafter with India and Indonesia. Smart trade delivers good jobs and prosperity."


"Think about the invaluable contribution of the IPCC for climate, a global panel that provides the latest science to policymakers. I believe we need a similar body for AI – on the risks and its benefits for humanity. With scientists, tech companies and independent experts all around the table."

"This is why I can announce today a new initiative to open up our high-performance computers to AI start-ups to train their models. But this will only be part of our work to guide innovation. We need an open dialogue with those that develop and deploy AI."


"I am proud to announce that the Commission will propose to extend our temporary protection to Ukrainians in the EU. Our support to Ukraine will endure."

"Accession is merit-based – and the Commission will always defend this principle. It takes hard work and leadership. But there is already a lot of progress. We have seen the great strides Ukraine has already made since we granted them candidate status."

(Reporting by Marine Strauss; Editing by Christina Fincher)