Herman van Rompuy, the President of the European Council, has delivered the first “The State of Europe” speech in Berlin on 9 November 2010.
The President that took office a year ago came to Berlin at a time when the European Union still struggles to get the euro currency back on track.
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Robert-Bosch-Stiftung and Stiftung Zukunft Berlin have jointly developed the “State of Europe” series that is envisaged to become an annual event. From now on, the speech will be delievered by a leader of the European Union’s institutions on 9 November every year.
The 9 November carries the marks of German and European 20th century history. 9 November 1918 is commemorated as armistice day; during the night of the 8/9 November 1938, Berlin’s synagogues were set on fire; and the Berlin wall came down on 9 November 1989.
Van Rompuy, who delivered his speech to an audience gathering on the steps of the ancient Greek Pergamon Altar in Berlin’s famous Pergamon Museum, was introduced by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Read the full text of the speech here.
Here’s a few reactions to the speech:
“EU President issues stark warning against nationalism” (Leigh Phillips in the EUobserver, 10 November 2010).
“Herman Van Rompuy: ‘Euroscepticism Leads to War'” (The Telegraph, 10 November 2010).
The European Council’s President also gave an interview to the November/December issue of ESharp in which he talks about how he has been navigating the euro crisis so far.