Message from Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on the Occasion of the Day of German Unity 2012Enlarge image (© AA)
On 3 October 1990, something that Germany had been hoping for became a reality: with national reunification complete, our country had the chance to start afresh. Today, post-reunification Germany’s place alongside its partners in Europe and around the world is firmly established. Thus, the Day of German Unity is always an occasion to look back in a spirit of thankfulness and joy on what has been achieved so far.
However, Germany will not flourish in the long run if Europe experiences a prolonged period of weakness. A return to nationalism, as well as growing fundamentalism, are dangerous reactions to our changing world. Today’s united Europe has both a common culture and a common future.
Reunification has taught us that many things that seemed impossible at first, can indeed become reality; the years since then have shown us what we can accomplish together with our partners in Europe. We are working hard to overcome the current crisis and must not allow it to call European integration into question. Now is the time to push the development of the European model forward. The crisis has taught us that “more Europe” is the logical conclusion, but we now need a “better Europe” with more highly developed institutions, more transparency and increased democratic legitimacy, as well.
“More Europe” is neither an end in itself nor is it a self-serving proposition. Europe has a global responsibility. It remains a guarantor of peace, freedom and prosperity. Only by working together in global solidarity can we win the battle for freedom, rule of law, human rights and democracy and the long-term fight against poverty and climate change. Only a united Europe can succeed in this endeavour.
Europe stands for more than interest spreads and bailout funds. Europe does have its price. More importantly, though, it has its value. We Germans see the good things that have happened to us and the good things we have accomplished as an obligation to future generations. Because Germany can only have a bright future within this united Europe, we must continue the work of unification with great determination.
Enlarge image (© AA)