More than 60 years ago, After the World War. The French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made an historic proposal laying the foundations for a united Europe.
“In today's difficult times, it's important to reflect on, and seek inspiration from, the achievements of the European project. Today, Europe is at the crossroads. Since 2008, the EU was shaken by an unprecedented financial and economic crisis, but it has to remain united and strong. Europe has been the answer for many problems of the past and continues to be the only answer for the problems of today.
In addition to the difficult economic situation, the European project is under attack from the extremes. Extremists from the right and the left are deploying populist rhetoric and manipulative tactics which evoke memories from the years prior the start of the European project.
Therefore, all the partners of the European project have, now more than ever, the responsibility to explain and to convince citizens that the EU is not the problem - as the extremes claim - but the solution. In this respect, the role of the EPP and all other pro-European political parties will be crucial in reaching out to Europe's citizens. If we truly want to bridge the gap between the EU and the citizens, the European political parties must take the lead in the democratization and politicization process of Europe.
Finally, as Robert Schuman said on 9 May 1950: 'Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements’.