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European Parliament Martin Schulz: "Celebrating Europe is synonymous to celebrating peace"

08-05-2015

Ahead of Europe Day, 9 May, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz stated: "This year's Europe Day which we will celebrate tomorrow is a special one with 2015 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War."

He continued: "The spectacle of horror that was this war, with an outrageous accumulation of barbarity, plunged humanity into the abyss. Our continent however was able to rise above hatred and fear to unite in solidarity, democracy, and tolerance for a project of political and economic union which remains unique in the world. Never has our continent known such a long period without conflict. Celebrating Europe is synonymous to celebrating peace.

We should not however limit ourselves to commemoration and celebration to justify the European Union. Citizens are suffering, feel insecure, and no longer envisage a bright future for themselves or their children. At the same time, irresponsible persons are stoking up populist sentiment, proposing simplistic solutions and undermining the foundations of our spirit of togetherness.

Faced with complex challenges, these people call for insularity, less Europe, and a return to the nostalgic and misleading idea of the all-powerful nation state. In reality though a united Europe is needed more than ever.

It is the EU which, bolstered by 507 million citizens, can face up to the global challenges and the great powers. It is the EU which is embarking on an ambitious digital agenda, synonymous of growth. It is the EU which has imposed rules making our businesses and banks sounder.

From the fight against terrorism, to solidarity in the welcoming of migrants and asylum seekers, from the fight against tax evasion to economic and fiscal convergence, our Union is still far from perfect, but the solution is not less Europe, the solution is a better Europe, one that focuses on the priorities of its citizens, one that is fully accountable to them and that stands by them every day in their efforts for better life prospects, for them and for their children.

Good Europe Day to everyone."