In the history of the Romanian people, May 9th represents sacrifice, freedom, unity, independence and development.
Freedom, unity and independence are the ideals for which the Romanian soldiers sacrificed their lives in the war against the Ottoman Empire, so that on May 9th, 1877 the Romanian Parliament was able to unanimously vote the resolution proclaiming the country’s complete independence. It was a crucial moment in the history of the Romanian people, a supreme act of sacrifice, which opened Romania’s path to the international recognition of the right of our nation to decide its own fate and, at the same time, raised the hopes of each Romanian for the supreme dream, the achievement of The Great Union of the Romanian people, obtained in 1918.
For freedom, unity and independence, hundreds of thousands of Romanians also sacrificed their lives in the Second World War. This global conflict, which has caused so much suffering, ended on May 9th, 1945 and Romania succeeded in defending its territory, though with enormous sacrifices.
Through bravery and sacrifice, we managed to obtain freedom and achieve unity and independence and to consolidate Romania as a state. Such values, together with the European Peace Desideratum, have led to the first form of union in Europe to be achieved on May 9th, 1950. May 9th remains, thus, the day when a number of visionary people laid the foundations for peace, unity and prosperity in a land crushed by wars and conflicts. These common values made Romania’s joining of the European Union, on January 1st, 2007, a natural movement forward.
Today, May 9th, we celebrate unity and solidarity and we once again strongly affirm our confidence in the European project. Even in difficult times such as the financial crisis, the waves of immigration and now the Brexit decision, the European Union proved strong. It is our duty to maintain such unity and solidarity between Member States. When we are united, we are strong! And this is also perceived by the rest of the world.
We must have confidence in our future, because all this time we have succeeded to preserve and bring forward the legacy left by the founders of the European Union, even in difficult times and hardships. We still need to build, to develop, to bridge gaps between Member States. Romania aims to be in the forefront of the current debate on the European project and we are committed to do everything in our hands so that 2019, when our country holds the EU presidency, finds us stronger in all respects.
I believe in a better future for Romania and for the European Union. I believe in a common future, I believe in unity and solidarity and, most of all, I believe in the values of democracy and rule of law. And I believe national traditions and values can be preserved and strengthened by the diversity proposed by the European project.
Happy anniversary, Europe! Happy anniversary, dear European citizens!