President Obama Delivers Remarks at Hannover Messe Building 35

President Obama Delivers Remarks at Hannover Messe Building 35


The President: Guten tag! It is wonderful to see all
of you, and I want to begin by thanking Chancellor
Merkel for being here. (applause) On behalf of the American
people, I want to thank Angela for being a
champion of our alliance. And on behalf of all of us,
I want to thank you for your commitment to freedom, and
equality, and human rights, which is a reflection
of your inspiring life. I truly believe you’ve shown
us the leadership of steady hands — how do you call it? The Merkel-Raute. (laughter) And over the last seven
years, I have relied on your friendship and counsel, and
your firm moral compass. So we very much appreciate
your Chancellor, Angela Merkel. To the members of the
Bundestag, Prime Minister Weil, Mayor Schostock,
distinguished guests, people of Germany. And I’m especially pleased
to see the young people here — from Germany
and across Europe. We also have some
proud Americans here. (laughter and applause) I have to admit that I have
developed a special place in my heart for the
German people. Back when I was a candidate
for this office, you welcomed me with a small
rally in Berlin, where I spoke of the change that’s
possible when the world stands as one. As President, you’ve treated
me and Michelle and our daughters to
wonderful hospitality. You’ve offered me
excellent beer — (laughter) — and weisswurst in Krun. You’ve now hosted our
delegation here in Hannover. My only regret is that I
have never been to Germany for Oktoberfest. (laughter) So I will have to come back. And I suspect it’s more fun
when you’re not President. (laughter and applause) So my timing will be good. (applause) And as always, I bring the
friendship of the American people. We consider the German
people, and all of our European allies, to be among
our closest friends in the world — because we share so
much experience and so many of the same values. We believe that nations
and peoples should live in security and peace. We believe in creating
opportunity that lifts up not just the few
but the many. And I’m proud to be the
first American President to come to Europe and be able
to say that, in the United States, health care is not a
privilege, it is now a right for all. We share that as well. (applause) Perhaps most importantly, we
believe in the equality and inherent dignity of
every human being. Today in America, people
have the freedom to marry the person that they love. We believe in justice, that
no child in the world should ever die from a mosquito
bite; that no one should suffer from the ache of
an empty stomach; that, together, we can save our
planet and the world’s most vulnerable people from the
worst effects of climate change. These are things
that we share. It’s borne of
common experience. And this is what I want to
talk to you about today — the future that we are
building together — not separately, but together. And that starts
right here in Europe. And I want to begin with an
observation that, given the challenges that we face in
the world and the headlines we see every day, may seem
improbable, but it’s true. We are fortunate to be
living in the most peaceful, most prosperous, most
progressive era in human history. That may surprise young
people who are watching TV or looking at your phones
and it seems like only bad news comes
through every day. But consider that it’s been
decades since the last war between major powers. More people live
in democracies. We’re wealthier and
healthier and better educated, with a global
economy that has lifted up more than a billion people
from extreme poverty, and created new middle classes
from the Americas to Africa to Asia. Think about the health of
the average person in the world — tens of millions of
lives that we now save from disease and infant
mortality, and people now living longer lives. Around the world, we’re
more tolerant — with more opportunity for women, and
gays and lesbians, as we push back on bigotry
and prejudice. And around the world,
there’s a new generation of young people — like you
— that are connected by technology, and driven
by your idealism and your imagination, and you’re
working together to start new ventures, and to
hold governments more accountable, and
advance human dignity. If you had to choose a
moment in time to be born, any time in human history,
and you didn’t know ahead of time what nationality you
were or what gender or what your economic status might
be, you’d choose today — which isn’t to say that
there is not still enormous suffering and enormous
tragedy and so much work for us to do. It is to remember that the
trajectory of our history over the last 50, 100
years has been remarkable. And we can’t take that for
granted, and we should take confidence in our ability
to be able to shape our own destiny. Now, that doesn’t mean that
we can be complacent because today dangerous forces do
threaten to pull the world backward, and our progress
is not inevitable. These challenges threaten
Europe and they threaten our transatlantic community. We’re not immune from the
forces of change around the world. As they have elsewhere,
barbaric terrorists have slaughtered innocent people
in Paris and Brussels, and Istanbul and San
Bernardino, California. And we see these tragedies
in places central to our daily lives — an airport
or café, a workplace or a theater — and
it unsettles us. It makes us unsure in our
day-to-day lives — fearful not just for ourselves
but those that we love. Conflicts from South Sudan
to Syria to Afghanistan have sent millions fleeing,
seeking the relative safety of Europe’s shores, but
that puts new strains on countries and local
communities, and threatens to distort our politics. Russian aggression has
flagrantly violated the sovereignty and territory
of an independent European nation, Ukraine, and that
unnerves our allies in Eastern Europe, threatening
our vision of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace. And it seems to threaten the
progress that’s been made since the end
of the Cold War. Slow economic growth in
Europe, especially in the south, has left millions
unemployed, including a generation of young people
without jobs and who may look to the future
with diminishing hopes. And all these persistent
challenges have led some to question whether European
integration can long endure; whether you might be
better off separating off, redrawing some of the
barriers and the laws between nations that
existed in the 20th century. Across our countries,
including in the United States, a lot of workers
and families are still struggling to recover from
the worst economic crisis in generations. And that trauma of millions
who lost their jobs and their homes and their
savings is still felt. And meanwhile, there are
profound trends underway that have been going on for
decades — globalization, automation that — in some
cases, of depressed wages, and made workers in a weaker
position to bargain for better working conditions. Wages have stagnated in many
advanced countries while other costs have gone up. Inequality has increased. And for many people, it’s
harder than ever just to hold on. This is happening in Europe;
we see some of these trends in the United States
and across the advanced economies. And these concerns and
anxieties are real. They are legitimate. They cannot be ignored, and
they deserve solutions from those in power. Unfortunately, in the
vacuum, if we do not solve these problems, you start
seeing those who would try to exploit these fears and
frustrations and channel them in a destructive way. A creeping emergence of the
kind of politics that the European project was founded
to reject — an “us” versus “them” mentality that tries
to blame our problems on the other, somebody who doesn’t
look like us or doesn’t pray like us — whether it’s
immigrants, or Muslims, or somebody who is deemed
different than us. And you see increasing
intolerance in our politics. And loud voices get
the most attention. This reminds me of the poem
by the great Irish poet W.B. Yeats, where the best lack
all conviction, and the worst are full of
passionate intensity. So this is a
defining moment. And what happens on this
continent has consequences for people around the globe. If a unified, peaceful,
liberal, pluralistic, free-market Europe begins
to doubt itself, begins to question the progress that’s
been made over the last several decades, then we
can’t expect the progress that is just now taking hold
in many places around the world will continue. Instead, we will be
empowering those who argue that democracy can’t
work, that intolerance and tribalism and organizing
ourselves along ethnic lines, and authoritarianism
and restrictions on the press — that those are the
things that the challenges of today demand. So I’ve come here today, to
the heart of Europe, to say that the United States, and
the entire world, needs a strong and prosperous
and democratic and united Europe. (applause) Perhaps you need an
outsider, somebody who is not European, to remind you
of the magnitude of what you have achieved. The progress that I
described was made possible in large measure by ideals
that originated on this continent in a great
Enlightenment and the founding of new republics. Of course, that progress
didn’t travel a straight line. In the last century — twice
in just 30 years — the forces of empire and
intolerance and extreme nationalism consumed
this continent. And cities like this one
were largely reduced to rubble. Tens of millions of men
and women and children were killed. But from the ruins of
the Second World War, our nations set out to remake
the world — to build a new international order and the
institutions to uphold it. A United Nations to prevent
another world war and advance a more just
and lasting peace. International financial
institutions like the World Bank and International
Monetary Fund to promote prosperity for all peoples. A Universal Declaration of
Human Rights to advance the “inalienable rights of
all members of the human family.” And here in Europe, giants
like Chancellor Adenauer set out to bind old adversaries
through commerce and through trade. As Adenauer said in those
early days, “European unity was a dream of a few. It became a hope for (the) many. Today it is a necessity
for all of us.” (applause) And it wasn’t easy. Old animosities
had to be overcome. National pride had to be
joined with a commitment to a common good. Complex questions
of sovereignty and burden-sharing had
to be answered. Ant at every step, the
impulse to pull back — for each country to go its own
way — had to be resisted. More than once, skeptics
predicted the demise of this great project. But the vision of European
unity soldiered on — and having defended Europe’s
freedom in war, America stood with you every
step of this journey. A Marshall Plan to rebuild;
an airlift to save Berlin; a NATO alliance to
defend our way of life. America’s commitment to
Europe was captured by a young American
President, John F. Kennedy, when he stood
in a free West Berlin and declared that “freedom is
indivisible, and when one man is enslaved,
all are not free.” With strength and resolve
and the power of our ideals, and a belief in a unified
Europe, we didn’t simply end the Cold War — freedom won. Germany was reunited. You welcomed new democracies
into an even “ever closer union.” You may argue over whose
football clubs are better, vote for different
singers on Eurovision. (laughter) But your accomplishment —
more than 500 million people speaking 24 languages in 28
countries, 19 with a common currency, in one European
Union — remains one of the greatest political and
economic achievements of modern times. (applause) Yes, European unity
can require frustrating compromise. It adds layers of
government that can slow decision-making. I understand. I’ve been in meetings with
the European Commission. And, as an American, we’re
famously disdainful of government. We understand how easy it
must be to vent at Brussels and complain. But remember that every
member of your union is a democracy. That’s not an accident. Remember that no EU country
has raised arms against another. That’s not an accident. Remember that NATO is as
strong as it’s ever been. Remember that our market
economies — as Angela and I saw this morning — are
the greatest generators of innovation and wealth and
opportunity in history. Our freedom, our quality of
life remains the envy of the world, so much so that
parents are willing to walk across deserts, and cross
the seas on makeshift rafts, and risk everything in
the hope of giving their children the blessings that
we — that you — enjoy — blessings that you
cannot take for granted. This continent, in the 20th
century, was at constant war. People starved on
this continent. Families were separated
on this continent. And now people desperately
want to come here precisely because of what
you’ve created. You can’t take
that for granted. And today, more than ever,
a strong, united Europe remains, as Adenauer said,
a necessity for all of us. It’s a necessity for the
United States, because Europe’s security and
prosperity is inherently indivisible from our own. We can’t cut ourselves
off from you. Our economies
are integrated. Our cultures are integrated. Our peoples are integrated. You saw the response of the
American people to Paris and Brussels — it’s because,
in our imaginations, this is our cities. A strong, united Europe is
a necessity for the world because an integrated
Europe remains vital to our international order. Europe helps to uphold the
norms and rules that can maintain peace and promote
prosperity around the world. Consider what we’ve done in
recent years: Pulling the global economy back from
the brink of depression and putting the world on
the path of recovery. A comprehensive deal that’s
cut off every single one of Iran’s paths to a nuclear
bomb — part of our shared vision of a world
without nuclear weapons. In Paris, the most ambitious
agreement in history to fight climate change. (applause) Stopping Ebola in West
Africa and saving countless lives. Rallying the world around
new sustainable development, including our goal to
end extreme poverty. None of those things could
have happened if I — if the United States did not have
a partnership with a strong and united Europe. (applause) It wouldn’t have happened. That’s what’s possible when
Europe and America and the world stand as one. And that’s precisely what
we’re going to need to face down the very real dangers
that we face today. So let me just lay out the
kind of cooperation that we’re going to need. We need a strong Europe
to bear its share of the burden, working with us on
behalf of our collective security. The United States has an
extraordinary military, the best the world has ever
known, but the nature of today’s threats means
we can’t deal with these challenges by ourselves. Right now, the most urgent
threat to our nations is ISIL, and that’s why we’re
united in our determination to destroy it. And all 28 NATO allies
are contributing to our coalition — whether it’s
striking ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq, or
supporting the air campaign, or training local forces in
Iraq, or providing critical humanitarian aid. And we continue to make
progress, pushing ISIL back from territory
that it controlled. And just as I’ve approved
additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I’ve
decided to increase U.S. support for local forces
fighting ISIL in Syria. A small number of American
Special Operations Forces are already on the ground
in Syria and their expertise has been critical as local
forces have driven ISIL out of key areas. So given the success, I’ve
approved the deployment of up 250 additional U.S. personnel in Syria,
including Special Forces, to keep up this momentum. They’re not going to be
leading the fight on the ground, but they will be
essential in providing the training and assisting local
forces that continue to drive ISIL back. So, make no mistake. These terrorists will learn
the same lesson as others before them have, which is,
your hatred is no match for our nations united in the
defense of our way of life. And just as we remain
relentless on the military front, we’re not going to
give up on diplomacy to end the civil war in Syria,
because the suffering of the Syrian people has to
end, and that requires an effective political
transition. (applause) But this remains a difficult
fight, and none of us can solve this problem
by ourselves. Even as European countries
make important contributions against ISIL, Europe,
including NATO, can still do more. So I’ve spoken to Chancellor
Merkel and I’ll be meeting later with the Presidents
of France and the Prime Ministers of Great
Britain and of Italy. In Syria and Iraq, we need
more nations contributing to the air campaign. We need more nations
contributing trainers to help build up local
forces in Iraq. We need more nations
to contribute economic assistance to Iraq so it can
stabilize liberated areas and break the cycle of
violent extremism so that ISIL cannot come back. These terrorists are doing
everything in their power to strike our cities and kill
our citizens, so we need to do everything in our
power to stop them. And that includes closing
gaps so terrorists can’t pull off attacks like those
in Paris and Brussels. Which brings me to
one other point. Europeans, like Americans,
cherish your privacy. And many are skeptical about
governments collecting and sharing information,
for good reason. That skepticism is healthy. Germans remember their
history of government surveillance — so do
Americans, by the way, particularly those who were
fighting on behalf of civil rights. So it’s part of our
democracies to want to make sure our governments
are accountable. But I want to say this to
young people who value their privacy and spend a lot of
time on their phones: The threat of terrorism is real. In the United States,
I’ve worked to reform our surveillance programs
to ensure that they’re consistent with the rule
of law and upholding our values, like privacy — and,
by the way, we include the privacy of people outside
of the United States. We care about Europeans’
privacy, not just Americans’ privacy. But I also, in working on
these issues, have come to recognize security and
privacy don’t have to be a contradiction. We can protect both. And we have to. If we truly value our
liberty, then we have to take the steps that
are necessary to share information and intelligence
within Europe, as well as between the United States
and Europe, to stop terrorists from traveling
and crossing borders and killing innocent people. And as today’s diffuse
threats evolve, our alliance has to evolve. So we’re going to have a
NATO summit this summer in Warsaw, and I will insist
that all of us need to meet our responsibilities,
united, together. That means standing with
the people of Afghanistan as they build their security
forces and push back against violent extremism. It means more ships in the
Aegean to shut down criminal networks who are profiting
by smuggling desperate families and children. And that said, NATO’s
central mission is, and always will be, our solemn
duty — our Article 5 commitment to our
common defense. That’s why we’ll continue to
bolster the defense of our frontline allies in Poland
and Romania and the Baltic states. So we have to both make sure
that NATO carries out its traditional mission, but
also to meet the threats of NATO’s southern flank. We have to defend the security of every ally. That’s why we need to stay
nimble, and make sure our forces are interoperable,
and invest in new capabilities like cyber
defense and missile defense. And that’s why every
NATO member should be contributing its full share
— 2 percent of GDP — towards our common security,
something that doesn’t always happen. And I’ll be honest,
sometimes Europe has been complacent about
its own defense. Just as we stand firm in
our own defense, we have to uphold our most basic
principles of our international order, and
that’s a principle that nations like Ukraine have
the right to choose their own destiny. Remember that it was
Ukrainians on the Maidan, many of them your age,
reaching out for a future with Europe that prompted
Russia to send in its military. After all that Europe
endured in the 20th century, we must not allow borders to
be redrawn by brute force in the 21st century. So we should keep helping
Ukraine with its reforms to improve its economy and
consolidate its democracy and modernize its forces to
protect its independence. And I want good relations
with Russia, and have invested a lot in good
relations with Russia. But we need to keep
sanctions on Russia in place until Russia fully
implements the Minsk agreements that Chancellor
Merkel and President Hollande and others have
worked so hard to maintain, and provide a path for a
political resolution of this issue. And ultimately, it is my
fervent hope that Russia recognizes that true
greatness comes not from bullying neighbors, but
by working with the world, which is the only way to
deliver lasting economic growth and progress
to the Russian people. Now, our collective security
rests on a foundation of prosperity, so that brings
me to my second point. The world needs a prosperous
and growing Europe — not just a strong Europe, but
a prosperous and growing Europe that generates good
jobs and wages for its people. As I mentioned before, the
economic anxieties many feel today on both sides of
the Atlantic are real. The disruptive changes
brought about by the global economy, unfortunately,
sometimes are hitting certain groups, especially
working-class communities, more heavily. And if neither the burdens,
nor the benefits of our global economy are being
fairy distributed, it’s no wonder that people rise up
and reject globalization. If there are too few winners
and too many losers as the global economy integrates,
people are going to push back. So all of us in positions of
power have a responsibility as leaders of government and
business and civil society to help people realize the
promise of economic and security in this
integrated economy. And the good news is,
we know how to do it. Sometimes we just lack the
political will to do it. In the United States, our
economy is growing again, but the United States can’t
be the sole engine of global growth. And countries should not
have to choose between responding to crises and
investing in their people. So we need to pursue reforms
to position us for long-term prosperity, and support
demand and invest in the future. All of our countries, for
example, could be investing more in infrastructure. All of our countries need
to invest in science and research and development
that sparks new innovation and new industries. All of our countries have to
invest in our young people, and make sure that they have
the skills and the training and the education they need
to adapt to this rapidly changing world. All of our countries need to
worry about inequality, and make sure that workers are
getting a fair share of the incredible productivity that
technology and global supply chains are producing. But if you’re really
concerned about inequality, if you’re really concerned
about the plight of workers, if you’re a progressive,
it’s my firm belief that you can’t turn inward. That’s not the right answer. We have to keep increasing
the trade and investment that supports jobs, as we’re
working to do between the United States and the EU. We need to keep implementing
reforms to our banking and financial systems so that
the excesses and abuses that triggered the financial
crisis never happen again. But we can’t do that
individually, nation by nation, because finance
now is transnational. It moves around too fast. If we’re not coordinating
between Europe and the United States and Asia,
then it won’t work. As the world has been
reminded in recent weeks, we need to close loopholes
that allow corporations and wealthy individuals to avoid
paying their fair share of taxes through tax havens and
tax avoidance, trillions of dollars that could be going
towards pressing needs like education and health
care and infrastructure. But to do that, we
have to work together. Here in Europe, as you work
to strengthen your union — including through labor
and banking reforms, and by ensuring growth across the
Eurozone — you will have the staunch support
of the United States. But you’re going to have to
do it together, because your economies are too integrated
to try to solve these problems on your own. And I want to repeat:
W have to confront the injustice of widening
economic inequality. But that is going to require
collective work, because capital is mobile, and if
only a few countries are worrying about it, then a
lot of businesses will head toward places that don’t
care about it quite as much. For a lot of years, it was
thought that countries had to choose between economic
growth and economic inclusion. Now we know the truth —
when wealth is increasingly concentrated among the few
at the top, it’s not only a moral challenge to us but
it actually drags down a country’s growth potential. We need growth that is broad
and lifts everybody up. We need tax policies that do
right by working families. And those like me who
support European unity and free trade also have a
profound responsibility to champion strong protections
for workers — a living wage and the right to organize,
and a strong safety net, and a commitment to protect
consumers and the environment upon
which we all depend. If we really want to reduce
inequality, we’ve got to make sure everyone who works
hard gets a fair shot — and that’s especially true for
young people like you — with education, and job
training, and quality health care and good wages. And that includes, by
the way, making sure that there’s equal pay for
equal work for women. (applause) The point is, we have
to reform many of our economies. But the answer to reform
is not to start cutting ourselves off
from each other. Rather, it’s to
work together. And this brings me
back to where I began. The world depends upon
a democratic Europe that upholds the principles of
pluralism and diversity and freedom that are
our common creed. As free peoples, we cannot
allow the forces that I’ve described — fears about
security or economic anxieties — to undermine
our commitment to the universal values that are
the source of our strength. Democracy, I understand,
can be messy. It can be slow. It can be frustrating. I know that. I have to deal
with a Congress. (laughter) We have to constantly work
to make sure government is not a collection of distant,
detached institutions, but is connected and responsive
to the everyday concerns of our people. There’s no doubt that how a
united Europe works together can be improved. But look around the world —
at authoritarian governments and theocracies that rule by
fear and oppression — there is no doubt that democracy
is still the most just and effective form of
government ever created. (applause) And when I talk about
democracy, I don’t just mean elections, because there are
a number of countries where people get 70, 80 percent of
the vote, but they control all the media and
the judiciary. And civil society
organizations and NGOs can’t organize, and have to
be registered, and are intimidated. I mean real democracy, the
sort that we see here in Europe and in the
United States. So we have to be vigilant in
defense of these pillars of democracy — not just
elections, but rule of law, as well as fair elections,
a free press, vibrant civil societies where citizens
can work for change. And we should be suspicious
of those who claim to have the interests of Europe at
heart and yet don’t practice the very values that are
essential to Europe, that have made freedom
in Europe so real. So, yes, these are
unsettling times. And when the future is
uncertain, there seems to be an instinct in our human
nature to withdraw to the perceived comfort and
security of our own tribe, our own sect, our own
nationality, people who look like us, sound like us. But in today’s world, more
than any time in human history, that is
a false comfort. It pits people against one
another because of what they look or how they pray
or who they love. And yet, we know where that
kind of twisted thinking can lead. It can lead to oppression. It can lead to segregation
and internment camps. And to the Shoah
and Srebrenica. In the United States, we’ve
long wrestled with questions of race and integration,
and we do to this day. And we still have a
lot of work to do. But our progress allows
somebody like me to now stand here as President
of the United States. That’s because we committed
ourselves to a larger ideal, one based on a creed — not
a race, not a nationality — a set of principles;
truths that we held to be self-evident that all
men were created equal. And now, as Europe confronts
questions of immigration and religion and assimilation,
I want you to remember that our countries are stronger,
they are more secure and more successful when we
welcome and integrate people of all backgrounds and
faith, and make them feel as one. And that includes our fellow
citizens who are Muslim. (applause) Look, the sudden arrival of
so many people from beyond our borders, especially
when their cultures are very different, that
can be daunting. We have immigration issues
in the United States as well, along our southern
border of the United States and from people arriving
from all around the world who get a visa and
decide they want to stay. And I know the politics of
immigration and refugees is hard. It’s hard everywhere,
in every country. And just as a handful of
neighborhoods shouldn’t bear all the burden of refugee
resettlement, neither should any one nation. All of us have to step up,
all of us have to share this responsibility. That includes the
United States. But even as we take steps
that are required to ensure our security; even as we
help Turkey and Greece cope with this influx in a way
that is safe and humane; even as Chancellor Merkel
and other European leaders work for an orderly
immigration and resettlement process, rather than a
disorderly one; even as we all need to collectively
do more to invest in the sustainable development and
governance in those nations from which people are
fleeing so that they can succeed and prosper in their
own countries, and so that we can reduce the conflicts
that cause so much of the refugee crisis around the
world — Chancellor Merkel and others have eloquently
reminded us that we cannot turn our backs on our fellow
human beings who are here now, and need our help now. (applause) We have to uphold our
values, not just when it’s easy, but when it’s hard. In Germany, more than
anywhere else, we learned that what the world
needs is not more walls. We can’t define ourselves
by the barriers we build to keep people out or
to keep people in. At every crossroads in our
history, we’ve moved forward when we acted on those
timeless ideals that tells us to be open to one
another, and to respect the dignity of every
human being. And I think of so many
Germans and people across Europe who have welcomed
migrants into their homes, because, as one woman in
Berlin said, “we needed to do something.” Just that human
impulse to help. And I think of the refugee
who said, “I want to teach my kids the value
of working.” That human impulse to see
the next generation have hope. All of us can be guided by
the empathy and compassion of His Holiness, Pope
Francis, who said “refugees are not numbers, they are
people who have faces, names, stories, and (they) need to be treated as such.” And I know it may seem easy
for me to say all this, living on the other
side of the ocean. And I know that some will
call it blind hope when I say that I am confident that
the forces that bind Europe together are ultimately much
stronger than those trying to pull you apart. But hope is not blind when
it is rooted in the memory of all that you’ve already
overcome — your parents, your grandparents. So I say to you, the people
of Europe, don’t forget who you are. You are the heirs to a
struggle for freedom. You’re the Germans, the
French, the Dutch, the Belgians, the Luxembourgers,
the Italians — and yes, the British — (applause) — who rose above old
divisions and put Europe on the path to union. (applause) You’re the Poles of
Solidarity and the Czechs and Slovaks who waged
a Velvet Revolution. You’re the Latvians, and
Lithuanians and Estonians who linked hands in a great
human chain of freedom. You’re the Hungarians and
Austrians who cut through borders of barbed wire. And you’re the Berliners
who, on that November night, finally tore down that wall. You’re the people of Madrid
and London who faced down bombings and refused
to give in to fear. And you are the Parisians
who, later this year, plan to reopen the Bataclan. You’re the people of
Brussels, in a square of flowers and flags, including
one Belgian who offered a message — we need “more.” More understanding. More dialogue. More humanity. That’s who you are. United, together. You are Europe —
“United in diversity.” Guided by the ideals that
have lit the world, and stronger when
you stand as one. (applause) As you go forward, you
can be confident that your greatest ally and friend,
the United States of America, stands with you,
shoulder-to-shoulder, now and forever. Because a united Europe —
once the dream of a few — remains the hope of the many
and a necessity for us all. Thank you very much. Thank you. (applause)

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