Every year on 9 May we celebrate Europe Day – an event that carries a special symbolism regarding the evolution of the European unity project and an ideal deeply-rooted in the history of our continent, an ideal that generates peace, stability, and prosperity.
This celebration is even more important this year, when we celebrate 30 years since the Council of the European Union adopted the decision designating 9 May as Europe Day. It is a day when, more than ever, we must think about the concept of European unity, about belonging to the European space, as well as about the benefits that it brings to all Member States.
Six decades after the project of the European Union was established, we find that the principles, values, and vision of the founding fathers are very much still relevant for European citizens and Member States alike. In spite of factors which tend to erode the confidence in the project, it remains attractive not only within the Union, but also to neighboring states willing to undertake the European path. In a global context, dominated by strategic competition, the European Union undeniably continues to represent a model of solidarity, welfare, and joint action.
In the past few years we have seen European values being put to the test, not only once, by a series of developments contrary to the spirit and principles of the EU. Socio-economic pressure generated by the economic and financial crisis has contributed to fueling Euro-skeptic, populist, xenophobic, and even radical trends and tendencies. Moreover, the security situation in the Union’s Eastern neighborhood continues to generate concern.
All these complex issues require appropriate responses. One of the lessons learned from the crisis is that we need comprehensive solutions, jointly agreed upon and implemented at the European level, in order to deal with the large-scale problems that can impact all European Member States and citizens.
We are convinced that the viable answers can only be of “more Europe” and more cohesion, and not of fragmentation or intolerance. The ideas and concepts promoted in the EU fundamental texts, such as the Schuman Declaration, which primarily intended to increase European unity and cooperation, are more applicable than ever, including in the context of the Union’s efforts to re-launch economic growth, combat unemployment, and manage multiple internal and external challenges.
As an EU Member State, Romania is fully attached to the European values and actively supports deepening the European integration process, as well as the unity of the European project. We are part of efforts to strengthen the EU and implement the goals on its current agenda, with concrete benefits to the everyday life of all its citizens. This is a European project characterized by full observance of the fundamental principles and values stipulated in the Treaties.
Unity, solidarity, and cohesion remain crucial vectors in the effort both to avoid centrifugal tendencies or moves to create new borders or divisions among states, and to advance integration, completion of the internal market, and the realization of a closer political union. The European project can thus retain its capacity to provide credible answers to current issues, as well as optimistic prospects for the future.