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And separately, on Friday, I will meet with the national leaders in Bratislava.

So my speech can not only compete for your applause, ignoring what national leaders will say on Friday.

Secondly, we should be aware that the world is watching us. Europe occupies 7 chairs at the table of this important global gathering.

Despite our big presence, there were more questions than we had common answers to.

Is this not the time when Europe needs more determined leadership than ever, rather than politicians abandoning ship?

Our reflections on the State of the Union must start with a sense of realism and with great honesty.

Or will Europe disappear from the international scene and leave it to others to shape the world?

I know that you here in this House would be only too willing to give clear answers to these questions.

In comparison to this, our State of the Union moment here in Europe shows very visibly the incomplete nature of our Union.

I am speaking today in front of the European Parliament.

First of all, we should admit that we have many unresolved problems in Europe. From high unemployment and social inequality, to mountains of public debt, to the huge challenge of integrating refugees, to the very real threats to our security at home and abroad – every one of Europe's Member States has been affected by the continuing crises of our times.

We are even faced with the unhappy prospect of a member leaving our ranks.

Do we allow ourselves to become collectively depressed?


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