“The 9th of May is not only a day when we celebrate the 68th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. Today is a day that unites Europeans and reminds us all of the common roots that we share. Together with our fellow 500 million European citizens, today we remember the dream and vision that our founding fathers conceived in the aftermath of World War II, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said on the occasion of the Europe Day.
“The essence of the European Union, back in 1950 and to this day, has been peace. It is on the basis of this peace that everything else has been built: prosperity, mobility, freedom and openness. However, while this has been our basis for so many decades, today these basic principles upon which our Union is built are being questioned,” he added.
Avramopoulos stressed that “the several crises we recently went through – the migratory flows, the economic crisis and several terrorist attacks – have teared at the social fabric of our societies, have put cracks in our shared trust, and tried to undermine the fundamental values upon which our Union was built.”
“In challenging times like these,” he said “populist and nationalistic voices are trying to convince us to close ourselves off, to turn inward in order to protect ourselves or not to lose our national identities. But the challenges we face today can only be addressed jointly. It is only together that we have managed to better manage migration, to reduce irregular flows, to strengthen our external borders, but also to share information and to build trust among Member States, to fight terrorism operationally, legally and financially, both on the ground and online. All these things we have done together, as a European Union, to the benefit of our citizens.”
“Our citizens want a Europe that protects and empowers, that offers economic opportunities, guarantees openness, tolerance and freedom. This is precisely why we are committed to building a prosperous and dynamic Europe, that brings added value to each and every one of our citizens. Only a week ago, we proposed a modern budget for a Europe that protects, empowers and defends its citizens. Europeans are at the centre of this project and we are investing more in education, security, mobility and new technologies,” he noted.
Concluding, he said that on Europe day, we should remember that we can be both European and patriot at the same time. Because this is what Europe is about: united in diversity.