That the 27 States have adopted a common declaration recalling that they do not intend to face the major challenges of the century other than together is unprecedented.
That they agree on the fundamental principles of their actions: human rights, equality between men and women, economic success and social solidarity is without equivalent.
That they agree on their priorities: mastering an increasingly globalised economy and competition, fighting against terrorism and criminality, racism, xenophobia, pushing back poverty are all evidence of a small miracle.
That they reassert their commitment to the peaceful settlement of conflicts and their openness towards the world, all of this is vital.
The Berlin Declaration is truly a wonderful text.
So let's not deny ourselves our joy!In over 50 years Europe has shown that it has finally broken away from its tragic past. It has left wars and nationalism behind to replace these with co-operation; it has won back stability and prosperity. It is the leading economic player in the world (13,000 billion $ GDP). It is copied, envied and admired from the outside where it raises many hopes; such as in Minsk where demonstrators are still confronting a dictatorship from another age, armed simply with a flag … that of Europe.
We have no reason within Europe to collapse into despair and gloom or scoff at the necessarily difficult negotiations since these will enable us to take decisions about Europe. The difficulties we are encountering will be overcome as the previous ones were – every time. This is as much in our interest as for our greatness.
By rising to the required level – that of an historic perspective and principles – we can be proud of our accomplishments over the last fifty years. We should also be able to do the same for the fifty years to come.