That is the history of the decade that is coming to an end: a form of internal civil war where we have sought out our differences, our little betrayals, and where we have somehow forgotten the world in which we live. A civil war where we have preferred to correct these little differences and betrayals, forgetting that, opposite, there are radically different powers and that the only relevant question was how to make the eurozone an economic power that could stand up to China and the United States. How to make our Europe a diplomatic and military power capable of defending our values and interests in the face of authoritarian regimes that emerge from deep crises that can shake our societies. That is our only challenge, not another.
So yes, I want us to rediscover the strength of a sovereignty that is not national but European, by reconciling a Europe capable once more of combining responsibility and solidarity.
That will require common goals and a will to defend what made us what we are through essential institutional reforms. In the coming weeks, I will come back in detail with a roadmap that I will propose to all our European partners. But yes, we will need a Europe in which we once again dare to defend social and fiscal convergence, because that is what holds us together and avoids the divergences that split us asunder. We need to rediscover the zest of this eurozone and invent strong governance that will ensure our sovereignty, with a eurozone budget, and a genuine executive responsible for that eurozone, and a eurozone parliament he will have to report to.
Through concrete proposals that I hope will be speedy, we need to overhaul this sovereignty to allow our Europe to rise above its petty divisions and build, over the next decade, the terms of its sovereignty. Not for those of the past, but for you, young people.
We who are leading Europe today cannot pretend nothing is happening. We still have that luxury. But in ten, fifteen, twenty years, what Europe will we leave to the next generations?
I do not want to write your future, but I want to say, quite simply, that you can choose, that you have that same luxury we have had, that you can make choices that are, of course, sometimes difficult. But choices nonetheless. That is what European sovereignty is about. That is what will allow you, young Europeans, to write your own future. That is what means that what we have experienced in the last decade is not, in any case, equal to our history! Because what have we promised to Greece’s young people? What have we given them in the last decade? For half of them, austerity and joblessness! What have we offered them? A bright future – if they were prepared to go to Berlin or Paris, for example. That was not the initial promise. The initial promise was that of a sovereign Europe where people could succeed at home, in a wider, stronger space than mere nations. So that is what we need to rediscover. That is the heart of European sovereignty, your sovereignty, as young people, to choose!