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.

In the same way, we should not define a closed club for those who could be members of it, let’s define the way forward, the method, and all those who have the ambition, desire and power will be in it, without blocking or stopping the others.

There is only one ambition in these proposals for action which I’ve just set out, the initiatives I’m proposing to those partners who want it and the course I wanted to map out before you: to give Europe back to itself and give it back to European citizens. We must convince them that the past 70 years did not simply happen by chance but were the fruit of an unyielding determination anchored in sheer optimism.

We have to rediscover the ambition of a Europe which allowed us to turn our backs on war. Today we know almost nothing any more about the destroyed towns and cities, the barbed wire which divided, which was at the heart of Europe, the fathers, sisters, children whom people, with a lump in their throats, buried because of tragedy. We no longer come across people in our streets whom the war left grief-stricken because fanaticism and nationalism once gained the upper hand over peoples’ consciences.

But we are already seeing the beginnings once again of what could destroy the peace we blissfully enjoy. So I say to you, this whole ambition we are championing is about giving people’s consciences a jolt; we’ve got to take responsibility for this at a time when obscurantism is reawakening just about everywhere in Europe. Let us ask ourselves a serious question about the kind of future we want, and find the courage to build it all together.