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Schulz on Europe Day: celebrating Europe today means engaging to change it

"It is easy to celebrate Europe when times are good, employment high and growth strong. It is harder when you have just lost your job, or cannot find one after graduating or had to close down your family business because of toughening credit conditions."

Ahead of Europe Day, 9 May, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz stated:

"For the last four years, the words most often associated with Europe are crisis, austerity and unemployment. With the growing flow of frustration and without hope for a real change to the current state of affairs, the prospects of the European Union are challenging.

9 May, Europe Day, should remind us to what extent we are a community of interdependent states and citizens: one's success cannot be achieved through another's failure. No matter whether you look at banking supervision or economic governance, whether you look at intellectual property or R&D, our prosperity, security and sovereignty in the 21st century will, in many areas, only be preserved through action at the European level.

The political choices before us are not straightforward. Being pro-European does not mean choosing Europe as it is, but it means working to make your Europe real. Celebrating Europe today means engaging to change it.

The European Year of the Citizens 2013 is an apt theme in this respect: it reminds us that only through participation and civic action, we will be able to recover the pride and strength that must rightly come with European citizenship."

The Schuman Declaration: 9 May 1950: