STORY: Von der Leyen was attending a ceremony at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to receive the conclusions of a consultation of Europeans on how EU institutions should evolve and what their priorities should be.
The ceremony was planned for May 9 which the Union celebrates as Europe Day – the anniversary of the Schuman declaration it sees as its founding moment – but also coincided with a military parade in Moscow led by President Vladimir Putin to mark the end of World War Two.
“This is the image I want us to celebrate on May 9, an image far more powerful than any military parade going up and down the streets of Moscow!” she told lawmakers and citizens who had been invited to take part in the process.
Earlier, EU officials including Commissioner Ylva Johansson released white doves in front of the EU headquarters as a symbol of peace, whilst protesters waved European and Ukrainian flags.
The report von der Leyen received spells out 49 proposals spanning nine themes: climate change and environment, the economy, migration, digital transformation, democracy, education, values and the rule of law, health, and the position of the EU in the world.
The proposals will now be examined by the European Parliament, EU governments and the European Commission, the latter the only one able to propose new EU laws.