When we started, there was a short period when it was difficult for us to get established and to network. But one page on Facebook was willing to work closely with us from the start and it is only fitting that we have the opportunity to return that favour and have one of the administrators of that group writing for us on this important and wonderful day for Europe. So we welcome Johan Alkstål from Eurofacebook. As well as looking after Eurofacebook, Johan is also a member of an exciting project called Europafederalisterna which is a Swedish nonprofit organization working for a democratic and federal Europe. We are still trying to convince Johan to write more for us so here’s hoping that this will be the first of many.
Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which laid the foundation for the European Union we have today. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands created a community to draw Europeans closer together.
They wanted to tear down the barriers that divided us and increase our living standards and working conditions.
They wanted to strengthen the economy and bridge the gaps between fortunate and less fortunate areas of Europe.
They wanted to bring together their resources to preserve and strengthen peace and freedom and they invited all who shared their ideals to join them.
Today we celebrate a peace and European community that the continent has never experienced before.
Today we celebrate all the things that nationalists want to tear down.
However, this celebration has to be followed by a determined will to reform the European Union.
For the ideals laid down by the Treaty of Rome to be able to prosper and bear better fruit for all Europeans, the European Union has to severe its intergovernmental ties and become a true European Federation.
A more democratic community where all its citizens are members of one constituency, able to vote for any other European citizen to a European government no matter which country they reside in.
A more effective community where the lines are clearly defined between what are national responsibilities and what are common federal responsibilities. Where the member states are self-governing in all issues except those they all have agreed upon to give the federal authority the power to govern.
And continued peace, prosperity and freedom among the people of Europe, where we shape our lives by our common values that all humans are born free and equal in rights and value.
We have every reason to be proud of our 60 years together in a European Union. In 60 years from now, my hope is to see us celebrate this day as a European Federation.