When engulfed by challenges, we must go beyond narrow national interests

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, as members of the Honorary Council of the European Movement International, we take the opportunity not only to reflect on what has been achieved, but to look forward and lay out a positive vision for the future of the European Union in times of turmoil.

A letter from the Honorary Council of the European Movement International to the European Union heads of state and government and the presidents of the EU institutions, issued on the 6th of March

As our continent is engulfed by challenges, decisive action is needed that goes beyond empty words and narrow national interests. What is needed are bold actions that serve the European Union as a whole, actions that improve the lives of all Europeans.

European integration is not an end in itself, but a means to achieving a secure, sustainable and fair Europe, where people live freely and in peace. A Europe that brings stability to its neighbourhood and whose values have a global impact.

With a strong foreign policy, the EU can represent its interests on the global stage. With a joint migration and asylum policy, the EU can do its part in resolving the challenges of unprecedented population displacement while safeguarding the freedom of movement. With a fully developed monetary, economic and political union, the EU can cope with future economic crises and consolidate its economic position. With an interwoven social dimension, the EU can directly improve the lives of its citizens. With an effective environmental policy, the EU can do its share in countering climate change. No Member State can achieve this on its own.

Likewise, the protection of European values is necessary to offer European citizens the ‘area of freedom, security and justice’ that is laid out in the treaties. We need to defend our open and tolerant society, based on equality and equal opportunities, social justice and meaningful participation in the democratic process.

This vision of Europe cannot be achieved ‘top-down’. Putting all Europeans at the centre is essential to increase their sense of ownership and their ability to shape the European project. Civil society organisations, trade unions, businesses, sectoral interests, academia, political parties, and local authorities all have a stake in our future and are ready to do their part to make the EU a success in the next 60 years.

What is needed from you, the European Union heads of state and government, is courage, unity, solidarity and political leadership. What is needed is not just words but also deeds that reflect our collective vision for the future of the European Union. When you gather to mark the 60thanniversary of the Rome Treaty, we ask you to look forward and take the first step towards a more secure, sustainable and participative EU in the coming 60 years.

Yours Sincerely,

Joaquín Almunia
European Commissioner (2004-2014)

Massimo D’Alema
Prime Minister of Italy (1998-2000)

Josep Borrell
President of the European Parliament (2004-2007)

John Bruton
Prime Minister of Ireland (1994-1997)

Enrique Barón Crespo
President of the European Parliament (1989-1992)

Pat Cox
President of the European Parliament (2002-2004)

Jacques Delors
President of the European Commission (1985-1995)

Anna Diamantopoulou
European Commissioner (1999-2004)

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Foreign Minister of Denmark (1982-1993)

Nicole Fontaine
President of the European Parliament (1999-2002)

Jose María Gil-Robles
President of the European Parliament (1997-1999)

Aleksander Kwaśniewski
President of Poland (1995-2005)

Mario Monti
Prime Minister of Italy (2011-2013) and European Commissioner (1995-2004)

Hans-Gert Pöttering
President of the European Parliament (2007-2009)

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