In a remarkable speech on November 9 – the anniversary of the fall of the Wall – EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy has given a painfully honest analysis of what is wrong with Europe. “The economic crisis has forced the European Union into a new role,” Van Rompuy said in his State of Europe speech in Berlin.
“For decades, Europe was all about opening, liberating, creating possibilities, emancipating, empowering…”, Van Rompuy said. “Today, Europe is seen as being intrusive, meddling, dictating, judging, correcting, prescribing, imposing, even punishing.”
Van Rompuy’s solution is economic success: bringing back growth and jobs. He also calls on European leaders to speak out positively about Europe. “Politicians must set out clearly what is at stake. They also have to speak out loudly their European convictions,” he said.