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Message for Europe Day 2017

«Current translation pending review – For demonstration only».

67 years ago, just 5 years after the end of World War II, on May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed something a few years ago that seemed unthinkable: the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community, and with remarkable insight described the future of Europe and the world: ‘World peace cannot be preserved unless creative efforts are commensurate with the dangers that threaten it. The contribution that an organized and vibrant Europe can make to culture is essential to maintaining peaceful relations. [..] Because Europe was not achieved, we had a war. Europe will not be created one by one, not even in a comprehensive plan: it will be built through concrete achievements that will first create real solidarity. The unification of European nations demands that the long-standing dispute between France and Germany be eliminated. “

In a few lines, Schuman, one of Europe’s fathers, described the need for a United Europe, described that this vision would gradually come to pass, that each stage would require real maturity from each party – ie solidarity – and of course recognized the decisive role of the Franco-German axis in achieving this vision.

7 years after the Schuman Declaration, the European Economic Community became a reality in Rome. Sixty years later, the European Union is the largest supranational political undertaking, but the principles were then set, through the common market, on the free movement of goods and people, with one common end goal: peace in Europe and the welfare of its people.

This vision today is suffering more than ever. A Europe of 28 countries is plagued by a surge of nationalism and populism, external pressures, the relative inability to adapt to the new international environment and the damaging refusal to break away from the inanimate numbers of technical programs and bring back policies addressing to its citizens and which concern about the well-being of them.

Despite the downturn of the crisis, hope has begun to appear. From Romania, Hungary and Poland where citizens with strong mobilizations, in the name of the European Acquis, demand and gain back freedoms and rights that their governments arbitrarily deprive them of, until the Netherlands and France, where nationalism, populism , intolerance, the opportunistic hatred trade have been overwhelmed by the election.

It is the obligation of every citizen to stop thinking of themselves as Greek, French or German, as Southern or Northern, as privileged or unjust, and to understand that when they think of themselves as European, they become the societies of a vast heritage and a partner of the Peace venture that history has known. After all … we are simply, all Europeans!

Michael Kavuklis,

President of the House of Europe in Rhodes