So first of all I am making the proposal to Germany for a new partnership. We will not agree on everything, or straightaway, but we will discuss everything. To those who say that is an impossible task, I reply: you may be used to giving up; I am not. To those who say it is too difficult, I say: think of Robert Schuman five years after a war, from which the blood was barely dry. On all the issues I have talked about, France and Germany can inject decisive, practical momentum. Why can we not start a “disruptive innovation agency” and launch a joint artificial intelligence programme, which would make Europe a driver of global growth? Why can we not set ourselves between now and 2024 the goal of completely integrating our markets by applying the same rules to our businesses, from business law to bankruptcy law?
This pioneering, practical spirit is found in the Élysée Treaty. So let’s get to work and put these joint commitments into a new cooperation treaty which we could sign together for the 55th anniversary of that founding treaty, on 22 January 2018. Let’s produce another Élysée Treaty on 22 January next year.
We share this ambition with Italy too. Tomorrow I will be with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and together we will be making initial commitments aimed at this. But we also share this vision with Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and so many other partners. I have met 22 of my counterparts over the past few months; I want to work with every one of them, humbly but with determination, because this is our moment.
France’s time for making proposals has returned, so I will be making proposals to everyone who shares this desire for a sovereign Europe, based on the central objectives I have mapped out: the desire for a united, differentiated Europe, for a democratic Europe supporting the conventions initiative, for launching in the next few weeks a group for the re-foundation of Europe. This group will include representatives of each participating Member State and will involve European institutions.
Let’s move forward right now. Between now and summer 2018, the group will work on detailing and proposing measures which will implement the six keys to sovereignty, drawing on discussions arising from the democratic conventions.
As you can see, I am coming to the end of my speech and you have heard me say hardly anything about tools. Because Europe has obsessively talked about treaties, budgets, capabilities and mechanisms, rather than projects. This approach no longer moves us forward. Changing a treaty is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end, an ambition. And here too, let’s go about things in the right order, subject by subject.
The group for the re-foundation of Europe will identify the necessary changes, with nothing ruled out. Where appropriate, enhanced cooperation, an ad hoc agreement or new legislation will be required and, if necessary for the project, there will be a treaty change. I am ready to take responsibility for this.