Herman Van Rompuy : “The EU is founded on values and not on national interests”
In a key note speech on "Bringing hope and solidarity to European integration" delivered yesterday evening at the Chapel of the Resurrection, also known as the Chapel for Europe, Herman Van Rompuy set out his vision for a united Europe based on values and the Christian conviction that caring for others means finding yourself. In the current crisis the peoples of Europe would go beyond their own state interest because they care not only for themselves but also for others.
In quoting Martin Buber, the Viennese-born Jewish philosopher the President of the European Council defined the European Union as a community formed by relationships between states, peoples and persons : "In the beginning is relationship. All true life is encounter. It is encounter which creates, with the presence of the other, the reality of time as present. I become myself in contact with "You", I become "I" by saying "You". In the light of this philosophy of relationship, this philosophy of encounter, I wish to see Europe’s destiny unfold."
Van Rompuy, who is in charge of preparing and chairing the European Council bringing together on regular basis all Heads of states and governments of the European Union, was addressing 200 invited guests working in and around the European institutions. In his speech he encouraged the audience "to embark on a journey in search of this "extra something" which is within us and just waiting to be revealed. We must seek a purpose in life in general and in our own lives in particular. Such a purpose will never be found in the Ego. It resides in the Other and/or in our relations with the others. By embarking on such a search, each in our own individual way, we can bring to the community of Europe this added dimension which will eventually turn it into a Union in the true sense of the word."
Brussels, 5 June 2012