What Robert Schuman, who left us exactly 60 years ago, did in 1950 was wildly audacious.
The reconciliation of Europeans secured their place in history. Rebuilding the continent was only possible by abolishing borders and creating indestructible solidarity.
Now faced with new challenges —a fast-changing international scene, boundless technological revolution, unprecedented expectations on the part of the people, but also the return of war and the ambitions on the part of dictatorships, a demographic explosion in the South, environmental imperatives —Europe has begun to change.
It has agreed to borrow jointly, to develop industrial policies that it had hitherto shied away from, and to exercise selfless solidarity between its members. Little by little, albeit somewhat hesitantly, it is learning what its autonomy of thought and action might look like.
But the strategic breakthrough represented by the creation of the European Community has yet to be seen. With just a few months to go before the European elections, the European Union, which has lost its economic footing to its great American ally, and which is clinging to outdated concepts and a monetary, and financial conservatism that was once necessary but is now damaging, must make its revolution and choose a policy of courage, daring and risk-taking.
It needs to invest massively and everywhere, rather than safeguarding the disciplines that have cost it the world's leading position in terms of revenue.
It needs to find a second wind by capitalizing on its immense achievements.
With its political and cultural aura, and its diplomatic know-how, it is eagerly awaited on every continent.
It is at this price that it will preserve its eminent place on the international stage and remain true to the vision of its founding fathers.