Europe is what we make of it

Europe is what we make of it

Europe is what we make of it – this is the message we sent during these two days in Rome. The sixtieth anniversary of a united Europe has turned into opportunity to relaunch our Union. It showcased a strong and renewed will from the 27 Member States that will continue to build their future together. With very concrete steps, because the need for a united Europe has become evident in our citizens daily lives. It is a need for security and protection in a fragile and globalised world. But also an opportunity for growth for our firms, for peace in our region, and for rights that are truly equal for all. In Rome, with all European leaders, we have committed to moving towards a more united Europe, with practical steps. And a more united Europe is also a more just, stronger and more compassionate Europe. Here are some of the events from yesterday and today. I started my day yesterday on public tv (here is the video in Italian, on minute 48:12). Then a “Citizens Dialogue”, answering questions from many Europeans together with Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. During the day I also met with the Deans of European Universities, with the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (here is the video), with the young European federalists. Yesterday evening I was with the European Socialists and Democrats – because Europe can create more opportunities and at the same time protect the weakest in our societies only if we, the Democrats, commit to this goal. Here is my speech, text and video. This morning I was at the official celebrations for the sixtieth anniversary of the Rome Treaties, then at the Quirinale Palace with the President...

Europe is what we make of it. Speech at the PES/Together event in Rome for #EU60

Check against delivery First of all thank you for organising this. Thank you Gianni (Pittella), thank you all. It is good to be surrounded by friends in a moment that is important for Europe and our Union – and by the way in my city, so it’s even more pleasant to be here, back home, in all senses. Today we celebrate, somehow, the intuition of our founding fathers and mothers – and let me add “mothers”, because we always refer to the fathers and we forget there were many women, sometimes in the shadows, that contributed to build our Europe. The Europe they knew, sixty years ago, was a devastated continent. It was a dark continent, the place where the greatest tragedy in human history had just taken place. But they decided to change the course of history. They realised that war in Europe was not inevitable, that it wasn’t simply a fact of life. But things had to be done in a different way. They chose a different path for Europe. They knew that Europe could be a different place. A continent that would export peace and stability, instead of exporting war – as we did, as Europeans, for thousands of years. So after sixty years, and so many achievements, let us keep in mind one simple message from 1957. Europe is what we make of it. And light comes… (laughter) There is nothing inevitable in our future. The people of Europe have a choice – that’s democracy. Don’t ever trust those who tell you that Europe is doomed to failure. Only nine months ago, exactly nine months...
Back from the United States

Back from the United States

I write after three days of meetings in Washington, just over one month after my last visit, as the new Administration still goes through a phase of transition. I have met at the White House with Vice-President Mike Pence, whom I had seen in Brussels just a few weeks ago, and with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. I also spoke with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secreatry of Defence James Mattis in the margins of the Anti-Daesh Coalition ministerial meeting. And I had several meetings with Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill. It was an opportunity to discuss not only our political and economic relations, which remain strong, but also the great crises we are facing. Starting with those in Syria, Libya, the Middle East and Ukraine. And the fight against terrorism. In Washington I also took part in the ministerial meeting of the Anti-Daesh Coalition, in the first anniversary of the Brussels’ attacks. The memory of that day is still painful, and we lived the same anxiety for the events unfolding in London in those hours. I have talked about the Brussels’ attacks, and the European Union’s answer, in an interview with Belgian radio. Relations between the European Union and the United States were also at the core of my meetings in Congress with several Senators, with the International Republican Institute and with the Chair of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez. And in my interviews on Fox News, BBC and CNN. Our summit on fighting terrorism was the opportunity for some bilateral meetings on the situation in Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Middle East. Among others, I met with the Iraqi Prime Minister...