Ambassador Gardner speaks at the Jean Monnet Seminar on “Communicating Europe: Observations from an American Believer”.
Thank you for this invitation to speak on the topic of how Europe should communicate its purpose, especially to the younger generation. I would like to focus on how the EU institutions should communicate their contribution to improving the lives of ordinary citizens. On April 25 last year President Obama delivered an Address to the People of Europe in Hannover. In that speech, to which I contributed, he quoted former German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer:
“European unity was a dream of a few. It became a hope for [the] many. Today it is a necessity for all of us.”
He added that it’s also a necessity for the United States:
“because Europe’s security and prosperity is inherently indivisible from our own… A strong, united Europe is a necessity for the world because an integrated Europe remains vital to our international order. Europe helps to uphold the norms and rules that can maintain peace and promote prosperity around the world.”
He also asserted that: “your accomplishment -- more than 500 million people speaking 24 languages in 28 countries, 19 with a common currency, in one European Union -- remains one of the greatest political and economic achievements of modern times.”
It was a terrific speech, but there was only one problem: it should have been delivered by a European politician, not by the President of the United States. No European politician is giving speeches like that. Unfortunately, we no longer have a president in the United States giving speeches like that either.
Download the full speech below.