Advent Season

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We are now in the middle of the Advent season, for many a good opportunity to review the past year.

The latest developments also give more than enough reason to think about the Lisbon Treaty in particular and about the further development of our Europe in general.

We self-confessed Europeans are therefore more in demand than ever before. We must not be alarmed by what appears to be wrong or what is going wrong.

We must evaluate these developments on the basis of our overall concept, the concept for a “Europe – united in diversity”, a concept for a federal Europe or for the United States of Europe and draw the appropriate conclusions.

In any case, it is important that we all – whether avowed Europeans or not – discuss it and together find viable solutions for our world of tomorrow.

For my part, I am still convinced of the European idea and also vehemently stick to the Hertenstein program - even after more than 60 years it is still the best concept for a Europe of peace; and if we keep up our efforts, also for a better world.

But I must still remember that we people in the European Union do not represent 5% of the current world population and that the proportion is decreasing. That's why we depend on continued and very close cooperation with the rest of Europe, including the Magreb, so that we can still exist in the world of tomorrow.

I am particularly pleased here that our Commissioner in Brussels, Günther Oettinger, found very clear words on this at the federal congress in Erfurt.

"Ubi est autem dignitas nisi ubi honestas?"

Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum (Book VII, Letter 11)

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