We live currently in historic times in Europe and therefore we so much need the commitment of all the European people.
No one can say today what does the future hold for our continent. Are we living the end of the European dream? Will Europe disintegrate under the battering from all these fears, populisms and simplifications carrying so much hate and so many divisions? Is this the too well-known air of violence, a new teaser for wars which could easily threaten us again? Is the absence of any major European digital world leader the evidence of the final end of the European age? Is it our turn to slide down the same slipping slope that both India and China experienced at the end of the 18th century? Shall we too enter and experience a century of humiliation?
Or does the European construction, for all its faults, show the proper path to the resolution of all the global challenges which we face today in the world? Global warming, energy transition, management of migratory flows, join security and defence, digital transition, will these strategic questions finally help us to turn Europe into an efficient solutions provider, which we so desperately need. A Europe finally re-founded. A Europe again sovereign and no longer passive, united and no longer divided, democratic and no longer incomprehensible, even sometimes today perceived as almost illegitimate. And above all, will Europe succeed in not only defending her values, but even becoming a cultural model to enter the future? The enrichment from respecting and surpassing our differences. The victory of humanism over populism? Will the 21th century be the century of Europe?
We are all responsible for the answers that we shall bring to these questions. We bear a historic responsibility for the defence of our progressive values at a time where we enter new technological realities, i.e. a new economy, and a new social and political order to be constructed and not only suffered. The world of yesterday is already discredited. We see the old political structures being completely overwhelmed by the realities of the new world. Help us to enter this new world without losing anything from our values. And if we do not react immediately at the European level, we shall be quickly swept away. We already feel it. Hence all these fears that arise here and there.
In this context the re-founding of Europe must be our top priority, in order to preserve our European cultural particularities, our values, our social equilibrium, our economic wealth and our independence.
There is an urgency on all the great challenges described here above. And therefore there is an even greater urgency to address, once and for all, the problems of the Eurozone. For us to finally have the question of the sustainability of the Eurozone behind us, and then have complete freedom to address all the other major challenges.
Then let us start in 2018 by finally ending the reform of the euro area and making it more efficient, fairer and more democratic, and therefore more stable:
– finalize the Banking Union to better protect depositors and taxpayers,
– launch the Capital Markets Union to better finance the economy,
– ensure convergence of bankruptcy laws, of social and tax systems,
– integrate the European Stability Mechanism into the European institutions to put it under more democratic control,
– give the eurozone a real budgetary capacity in a more democratic context to invest in our common future.
After this consolidation of the Eurozone, we shall then be able to fully devote ourselves to the other European challenges, our own defence, the protection of our external borders, the climate change and the energy transition, and certainly the set-up of solidarity mechanisms across a Europe which finally would truly reflect our values.
European people, help us to put Europe at the top of all our political agendas everywhere in Europe. Should it be in your professional or private life, in your civic, associative or political engagement, in your votes, at the European, national or local level, or even within any political organizations, please find the courage and intelligence to always put the European project at the forefront of your concerns.
We are Europe, all of us and only we are Europe. We are all responsible for her. Thank you for understanding it, and thank you for acting accordingly.
For all of us. For Europe, for our future.