But the other choice, which I am going to propose to you this evening, it to rebuild Europe, because our generation can choose to rebuild Europe today, now, by radically criticizing it because we would be wrong to leave the criticizing solely to those who hate Europe! Those who love Europe should be able to criticize Europe to rebuild it, correct it, improve it, rebuild it! But with this same energy, same desire, not figures, not technicalities, not bureaucracy, no! We must bring back the primary force of hope which led certain individuals in Europe, despite the divisions of the post-war period, to desire a bigger story, more beautiful than themselves.
Indeed, I am here tonight to talk about these hopes, these three hopes of sovereignty, democracy and confidence.
Reconquering our sovereignty is essential. Because I will not allow the so-called “sovereigntists” be the only ones to use this term. No, sovereignty is what allows us to decide for ourselves, to decide our own rules, our own future, it is what makes our world. Sovereignty is not the property of those who prefer to withdraw into national borders! Do not leave sovereignty to those who wish to wither, those who pretend that looking inwards is a defence, a protection, a decision when actually it is a hate for others, a refusal of those who come from abroad, a denial of decades of shared history where we have finally tried to move beyond nationalisms!
True sovereignty is constructed, it must be constructed in and by Europe! This is what we believe in! The sovereignty that we want, is sovereignty which is there precisely to bring our forces together to build together a European power to decide not to be subjected to what the superpowers will do better than we will.
I believe in sovereignty, our national sovereignties, but I believe in this European sovereignty. Why? Because our challenges are no longer on a nation-scale. Take climate change and the disasters it is producing! Take the migration challenge that your country had to face a little over two years ago and you are still dealing with the consequences, the fears that it created, the beautiful stories that came from it. Take terrorism which, in each of our societies where we thought we were safe, has broken lives and made us doubt. Take the nuclear powers emerging where we thought we had secondary powers.
Faced with this world and each of these new risks, faced with the risk of economic and financial crises which we have suffered, that you have suffered at your heart for nearly ten years now, how can we protect ourselves? As Nations alone? Are these people really serious? Do they want to lie to the people once again? No, nations have weight! They decide democratically! Yes! The right level is the European level! Our European sovereignty is what will enable us to be digital champions, build a strong economy, and make us an economic power in this changing world. And not be subjected to the law of the fittest, the Americans and, soon, the Chinese, but our own law.