We can’t choose our times, but we can choose to change them. Speech at #EuropeTogether

Thank you, grazie Gianni (Pittella), Sergei (Stanishev), thank you for organising this, it’s good to be… back home. We are living, indeed, difficult times. Some of the photos you have just seen, some of the things Gianni has just said remind us all that we definitely live in difficult times. It is easy to have the feeling that working for peace and security – and we are not ashamed of saying peace – in our times, is becoming more difficult than ever. The point is that we don’t get to choose the kind of times we live in. You don’t choose the time you live in, you don’t choose your parents, you don’t choose your neighbours… Everything else in live somehow you can choose, or at least you can determine. We don’t get to choose the kind of times we live in, but we can choose to try and change our times, together – together – with those who share our aspiration to a more peaceful and secure world. And this is what truly defines us, as a political family – as Progressives, Socialists, Democrats: the desire for change. The belief that we, that our action together can change things. The belief that tomorrow can be better than today, if we work for that. That despite all obstacles, progress is always possible, however difficult it may seem. The belief that “it always seems impossible, until it’s done” – as Nelson Mandela used to say. But if we want to be the drivers of change, we need to have the courage of our own ideas. In global affairs, we need...