Europe Day, celebrated on 9 May, reminds us of the long way back from the war to peace and cooperation. Today, more than seven decades later, we celebrate freedom and the good neighborly relations between countries but it is the question of finding the right direction for development of the EU. At a time when the United Kingdom’s exit negotiations begin, about the future of cohesion policy after 2020, when there is a debate whether Europe is needed at two or more speeds, it is important to remember the unity of the Union left over by the previous generations.
“Europeans think that the EC should commit itself and settle everything, the opposite disappoints them,” said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in a debate on the future of the EU on Europe Day. “There is a way for citizens to be interested in Europe and it is through a constant dialogue with them,” he said adding that three years ago he asked the EU Commissioners not to stay at Brussels headquarters but to hold working meetings in the individual countries of the Union.
“People want a more social Europe, for now it is not developed enough. Politicians do not approve of our intervention but citizens want that. Governments are constantly justifying with Brussels,” said Juncker.
“On Europe Day we are proud of what we have achieved over the past 70 years – peace, freedom and democracy.” This was stated by the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani. “We have defended the values of the Union. Europe is the only continent with no death penalty. In the coming months and years we have to provide security to our citizens. We need to act to overcome unemployment. Among our priorities is the fight against terrorism and tackling the problems of immigration. We should be able to give concrete answers to half a billion EU citizens,” he added.
In Bulgaria 9 May was solemnly celebrated. “Today we must clearly realize that Europe needs unification. We are celebrating Europe Day, but also Victory Day. Without it and without the millions of sacrifices, today’s Europe would not be the same,” said President Rumen Radev.