Europe is an economy, we must get it back on its feet. Europe is a monetary area, we must stabilize it, and we’ve succeeded in doing so. But Europe is also a community of values – principles and standards. We must never lose sight of this remarkable idea which, right after the war, made the ideal a reality.
I’ve said during the course of the day that it was in The Hague in 1948 that a congress brought together members of parliament from countries which had opposed each other a few years earlier, laying the foundations of what was to be the European project.
Among these members of parliament, a young man called François Mitterrand had expressed his enthusiasm there for Europe and, decades later in Maastricht, called – again, in the Netherlands – for the creation of the single currency. In France, it was a controversial project, but today this single currency – even though it’s been necessary to fight to protect its status and, above all, the Euro Area’s integrity – is what unites us, it’s what allows us to federate the Euro Area, which must tomorrow become an “avant-garde” Europe.
So let’s never lose faith in Europe’s principles. Living here as you do, you are even more driven than others by this imperative, this resolve, which will have to be shared at the time of the elections to renew the European Parliament. (…)./.