Von der Leyen on Europe Day: What does Europe mean to me and why is solidarity more valid than ever

vond der leyen 2020

Photographer: Etienne Ansotte
European Union, 2019
Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

Alongside 27 European leaders and the Presidents or European Parliament and Council, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen explained what Europe meant to her. She said: “For my generation Europe is freedom and rule of law” and “for my children Europe is the future and the open-mindedness, this is what I’m fighting for”.

70 years ago it was Robert Schuman Declaration that lay the ground of European integration and Shuman proposed a gesture of solidarity, said von der Leyen. In her video message on 9 May, the Europe Day, von der Leyen focused on acts of solidarity across Europe at the time when the world was fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“This solidarity must continue. We can only defeat this virus if we take responsibility for each other”, she said. “If we work together to find a vaccine, if we join forces to get our economy back on track, if we protect our planet through the European Green Deal.”

She underlined that this solidarity required effort and compromise on all sides, but that this was something ‘we owe to our citizens and to future generations’.

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