I am addressing you on a very important day for Europe. On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman presented his proposal that laid the foundations of the European Union –> a unique project of a united community based on shared values and principles.
The European Union, as it evolved, has allowed its peoples to enjoy an unprecedented period of peace and increasing prosperity.
The European Union is not a static body, it grows, it enlarges. Enlargement is in the DNA of Europe – Europe which, despite all the recent difficulties, is still a source of inspiration: with its values, with its living standards and in the case of enlargement also with the transformative power bringing the reforms and changes needed to achieve European standards in all areas of life.
The European Union continues to grow. Croatia will join us soon. Serbia has been granted candidate status and negotiations with Montenegro should start next month. Other enlargement countries are also moving towards the European Union.
We are determined to maintain this progress despite the current challenges Europe is facing. These challenges are however related to the globalisation, not the enlargement. Enlargement is not the cause for it. In fact, it is the part of the solution. To succeed we need to work together. And you will have an important role to play in this, particularly after you join the European union.
Together we can shape the future of Europe in line with the vision expressed by its founding fathers. It is the European Day - enjoy it.