Do we allow ourselves to become collectively depressed?
Do we want to let our Union unravel before our eyes?
Because Europeans are tired of the endless disputes, quarrels and bickering.
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Never before have I seen national governments so weakened by the forces of populism and paralysed by the risk of defeat in the next elections.
Never before have I seen so much fragmentation, and so little commonality in our Union. Do we give in to a very natural feeling of frustration?
Or do we say: Is this not the time to pull ourselves together?
Is this not the time to roll up our sleeves and double, triple our efforts?
[AUTHORISED VERSION] Mr President, Honourable Members of the European Parliament, I stood here a year ago and I told you that the State of our Union was not good. Our European Union is, at least in part, in an existential crisis.
I told you that there is not enough Europe in this Union. I am not going to stand here today and tell you that everything is now fine. Over the summer, I listened carefully to Members of this Parliament, to government representatives, to many national Parliamentarians and to the ordinary Europeans who shared their thoughts with me.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.But we need our words to be followed by joint action. And with words alone, you cannot shape international affairs.Thirdly, we should recognise that we cannot solve all our problems with one more speech. This is not the United States of America, where the President gives a State of the Union speech to both Houses of Congress, and millions of citizens follow his every word, live on television.Will Europe still be able to conclude trade deals and shape economic, social and environmental standards for the world?