Today, we celebrate 68 years of peace, unity and political cooperation in Europe, where freedom, democracy, equality and solidarity among European nations and people have been the benchmarks for the member states. For us, Romanians, Europe has always meant home, regardless of the historical context, which isolated us for nearly five decades from these values.
Today’s generations are privileged being part of the big European family again, having benefits as well as obligations. We celebrate Europe Day with confidence in Romania’s future and the European construction, with challenges lying ahead which we have to answer responsibly. For the next anniversary of the European Union, in 2019, our aim is to talk about the success of Romania’s first mandate to the presidency of the Council of the European Union and to this end we are preparing intensely.
The complex agenda which is already established for the next six months will have an important dimension oriented towards the future, when we will be in the center of the European decision-making process: the post-Brexit union and negotiations for the next multiannual financial framework in the context of the outgoing mandate of the current European Parliament and Commission.
Today, the European Union means a common economical and security space, a world with no borders for its citizens, a communion of values and aspirations that contribute to the spiritual and material progress, both for the individual and the communities.
We can carry on all these values. Romania’s vision for the first mandate to the European Union’s presidency starts from this foundation and is strongly oriented towards the future, centered on cohesion as a common value – cohesion at national level and between states members, for development and economic progress of all regions.
Romania believes in the future of the European Union which is why the initiatives we are preparing for the first half of the 2019’s mandate will be referring to the strategic objective of preserving the unity of the European project and integrity of the European policies, all for the benefit of European citizens.
Today, Romania also celebrates Independence Day, marking a crucial event in its becoming an unitary and sovereign state. On the 9th of May, 1877, Mihail Kogălniceanu, a prominent figure of Romanian politics, diplomacy and culture, proclaimed national independence before Parliament. This symbolic gesture was consecrated a year later in the foreign treaties, with the price of blood sacrifice of the Romanian army in the battles of Plevna, Smârdan and Vidin, accompanied by the patriotism and genius of the Romanian political class of those times.
The cohesion at all levels of the Romanian society for freedom and self-determination made possible the Great Union in 1918, whose centennial we celebrate this year and outlined the present destiny of the Romanian state as an important actor on the international political stage, including through alliance policy. A state that matters on the world’s map may offer many opportunities for its citizens, regardless of any grievances or contingencies generated by the increasing speed of changes.
Let us pay tribute to our ancestors who made possible the 1877 event and follow their example to live not only for us but for the next generations.
Likewise, the 9th of May means the United Nations Coalition Victory Day in the Second World War, followed by radical political, economic and cultural changes. The biggest conflagration in history, which involved several continents and led to the death of more than 60 million people, of which a large proportion were civilians, mobilized people and states in the struggle for pace, humanity and values. It became clear that nothing good can be found on hatred, that the authoritarianism of charismatic despots hurt the people they seduce, that war should not exist unless it’s defensive, that the desires of expansion and of imposing beliefs not only kill, but darken life for decades. Democracy is dead when there is incitement to hatred, when an enemy is sought to win elections, when we do not think rationally but act sentimentally and consider the foreigners as scapegoats for our personal misfortunes.
The emergence of international organizations such as the UN and the UE, the signing of agreements such as the European Convention on Human Rights are beneficial consequences of the greatest evil in history, once understood. But, so that we do not become wiser through the experience of a tragedy, we must not forget!
Happy birthday, Romania!
Happy birthday to Europe and all its citizens!