BRUSSELS – The future of the European Union is a choice – a choice that belongs to every European citizen and matters to the entire world.
This year the European Union has turned sixty: sixty years of peace, of protection for our workers, of opportunities for our business, of liberty and rights.
But the future of Europe is not something we inherit from our founding fathers and mothers. The European Union is the values we believe in, the partnerships we build in the world, the mirror of our European society. Europe is what we, Europeans, make of it – every single day, each one of us.
And we have recommitted to staying together, using the strength our unity gives us – because only together we can face the challenges of our times.
In the last year, we have taken more steps towards a European Union of security and defence, for instance, than in the previous sixty years. This is what Europeans need, and this is what the world needs.
In the current global environment, our friends around the world look at us, look at the European Union as a reliable superpower for peace and human development – perhaps the only one.
This doesn’t mean we are perfect. Far from that. Change in the European Union is necessary.
But change is possible and is happening. The choice of a stronger European Union in the world belongs to us. The choice of a more just, more secure and more equal Europe belongs to us, all of us. This is what Europe’s day is all about: not the future of the European Union’s institutions, but the future of every single European citizen.
Happy Europe’s day.