The President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen spoke about the challenge facing the European continent due to the war in Ukraine, on the occasion of Europe Day.
“Our continent meets the shadows of a past that we thought we had left behind for good,” she said, adding that the Russian invasion was a reminder of why Europe Day is celebrated.
Her statements in detail
“Europeans and Europeans,
Today our continent meets the shadows of a past that we thought we had left behind for good.
A heinous war, an absurd attack and devastated cities.
Millions of innocent people are fleeing their homes.
A people who are desperately trying to determine their future.
Europe supports Ukraine.
At the same time, the invasion of the Kremlin reminds us why we are celebrating Europe Day.
The day our peaceful, prosperous and united Europe was born.
Seventy-two years later, Europe is stronger and more united than ever.
Together we support our Ukrainian friends.
We are recovering from the coronavirus crisis.
Member States have already received € 100 billion from the NextGenerationEU recovery fund.
Huge investments secure millions of jobs and create new opportunities in Europe every day.
We work hard to protect the climate and make our continent dependent on energy produced from imported fossil fuels.
Our Union lays down rules that will shape the digital age beyond our borders.
Europe was able to achieve all this because we were united and determined.
That is why I am confident and optimistic that our Union can also face the challenge of war in Ukraine.
The citizens of Europe are showing us the way.
Millions of Europeans from all over the EU and from all walks of life mobilized to help their neighbors in need.
Millions have opened their homes to Ukrainian refugees.
Millions sent food and clothing or made donations.
More than ever, Europeans feel that they belong to a European family, and that makes me very proud.
Happy birthday Europe.
And a good Europe Day to all of you! “