Statement ahead of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

We remember the genocide committed here, on European soil, just two generations ago.

We remember the millions of Jews murdered in the Shoah, and the many other victims. As Shimon Peres, now sadly no longer with us, once said: ‘We are their eyes that remember. We are their voice that cries out.’

To those who would deny, this is our message. A message of collective responsibility.

We have a responsibility to remember: a responsibility towards the victims, towards the survivors. A responsibility towards the future generations. And a responsibility towards Europe, and all European citizens.

As a reaction to the World War and to Shoah, the founders of a united Europe decided to turn the page. A united Europe was the only way to ensure that “never again” such tragedies would happen inside our continent. Our founders rejected the vicious idea that one nation, one people, one ideology should enslave all others. They chose to build a Union of diversities. And it is a choice we are called to confirm each and every day.

As we celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Rome Treaties, and over seventy years of peace inside our Union, we must pass the message to younger generations: a peaceful and diverse Europe cannot be taken for granted. Anti-Semitism has not disappeared, and European Jews have too often come under attack. Discriminations based on religion and on ethnicity are worryingly on the rise. Each new generation needs to commit again to the foundations of our peaceful coexistence. A peaceful and diverse Europe needs constant care, and it is everyone’s interest, and responsibility.