OECD Secretary-General statement on Europe Day

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(European Union, 2018)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.


“Today we celebrate Europe Day, marking the anniversary of the historical ‘Schuman declaration’. Like the European Union and its institutions, the OECD is the offspring of a period that had witnessed the destruction of war and realised that co-operation across borders is the only way forward to create a better future.

The EU is a model of peace, democratic stability and socioeconomic well-being for the rest of the world. It is also a leading actor in efforts to achieve the 2030 Development Agenda, protect the environment, combat climate change and foster a rules-based international system that works for all. While plenty remains to be done and the European Project confronts some challenges, we should not forget the many benefits that the EU brings to its members, most of which are also part of the OECD. This is particularly relevant at a time when the voices of those claiming a retreat into national borders are on the rise, capitalising on the discontent of wide segments of our populations who feel left behind.

In these defining times for the future of Europe, it is the duty of institutions like the OECD to help inform the debate with facts. This is what we are doing with the recently released document The European Union: A People-Centred Agenda (L’Union européenne : L’humain en priorité). It aims to take a step back and provide a broader picture on what Europe has meant for its citizens in terms of economic and social development, drawing on the OECD’s evidence-based experience.

On this significant date, we wish happy Europe Day to all Europeans, and look forward to continue working with its governments and citizens in building together the continent that they want to leave to future generations.”

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