To give rEUnaissance a real chance, we must pick up the pace of reform to transition to a European Union of sustainable development. Europe must be sustainable – or it will not be at all. Agenda 2030 is the win-win strategy for employers, for workers and for the whole planet. It is a real political project that is good for economic growth and competitiveness, good for social justice, and good for climate and sustainable development. Time has come for a new Social and Economic Contract for the 21st century.
As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the first World War, we must be sure not to take peace for granted. Reconciliation and peace are the greatest achievements of the European Union. By interlinking our economies and people, and by perfecting the art of compromise, we have created the most reliable system for long-term peace in the world. But the threat of global conflict is flaring up in the light of recent geopolitical shifts. We need to reinforce even more a Union of Values: democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights, human dignity and freedom.
Europe is a place of extraordinary cultural and artistic richness and vibrancy, as well as immeasurable cultural heritage and linguistic and cultural diversity. However, surprisingly culture has so far been absent from the dominant political discourse. Culture has an enormous untapped potential to become a unifying and mobilising force for Europe and drive a new European narrative. This is why I made it my third priority, ahead of the European elections of May 2019.