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[…] In a certain way I think the European integration is a victim of its own success.We have achieved what we wanted to achieve.We have achieved political and economic stability. And in particular we have achieved a political system in Europe that, even if it is a complicated, not always very transparent and sometimes even boring system, it guarantees peace. We should not forget that the core of the European integration project is peace. It is a political project. It is not an economic project. But it is not only peace. I think the younger people today need another explanation, another justification why we need European integration. And I want to say that we have to make it very clear that we cannot meet the challenges of the future on our own. The European nation state is not strong enough and not big enough to tackle that. So we have to stay together, we have to co-operate, we have to co-ordinate our politics, we have to harmonise. And in that sense the European integration project is also a welfare project and a progress project. The constitutional crisis that we have seen – in my view – is only the tip of the iceberg. And it should be used to address the real issues, to ask the right questions and to find convincing answers. […] […] And that, of course, is finally the role of the media. I think it makes no sense to preach in the church that you should go to the church. So I resist the temptation to tell you – the media people – what you have to do. But I have to say that in our modern society the media has a very, very particular responsibility, also for the European idea. And I hope that the event today – and the events which will follow – will help us to communicate better, to explain better and to convince people that Europe – and acknowledging all the problems, the mistakes and the deficits – […] that at the end of the day the idea of European integration is the best idea that we have ever developed in our history. […]

  by Günther Verheugen
  by Melanie Philipps