EU leaders gathered in Sibiu, Romania, for a special summit on Europe Day to proclaim their unity before the European Parliament elections in two weeks (also read European elections on May 26 – 3 reasons why it is important) and amid the strong turbulences against the EU (BREXIT, asymmetric threats, stranded euro Atlantic relationship, climate vs economic competitivity. How the EU answers such challenges will define the future of the continent for the next decades (also read The EU is about to define itself a new strategic vision). This is the official Sibiu Declaration.
We, the Leaders of the European Union, have gathered in Sibiu to discuss and look ahead to our common future.
In a few weeks, Europeans will elect their representatives in the European Parliament, forty years after they first exercised this fundamental right. A Europe re-united in peace and democracy is but one of many achievements. Since its inception, the European Union, driven by its values and freedoms, has provided stability and prosperity across Europe, within and beyond its borders. Over the years, it has grown into a major player on the international scene. Gathering around half a billion citizens, with a competitive single market, it is a leader in worldwide trade, and shapes global politics.
We reaffirm our belief that united, we are stronger in this increasingly unsettled and challenging world. We recognize our responsibility as Leaders to make our Union stronger and our future brighter, while recognizing the European perspective of other European States. That is why today we unanimously agree on 10 commitments that will help us live up to that responsibility:
§ We will defend – from East to West, from North to South. Thirty years ago millions of people fought for their freedom and for unity and brought down the Iron Curtain, which had divided Europe for decades. There is no place for divisions that work against our collective interest.
§ We will stay . We will show each other solidarity in times of need and we will always stand together. We can and we will speak with one voice.
§ We will , listening to each other in a spirit of understanding and respect.
§ We will continue . The unalienable rights and the fundamental freedoms of all Europeans were hard fought and will never be taken for granted. We will uphold our shared values and principles enshrined in the Treaties.
§ We will deliver . Europe will continue to be big on big matters. We will continue to listen to the concerns and hopes of all Europeans, bringing the Union closer to our citizens, and we will act accordingly, with ambition and determination.
§ We will always uphold the principle of , whether it be in the labor market, in welfare, in the economy or in the digital transformation. We will further reduce disparities between us and we will always help the most vulnerable in Europe, putting people before politics.
§ We will give ourselves the . We will provide the Union with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies.
§ We will . We will invest in young people and build a Union fit for the future, able to cope with the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.
§ and keep them safe by investing in our soft and hard power and by working with our international partners.
§ . The challenges we face today affect us all. We will continue working with our partners in the world to uphold and develop the rules-based international order, to make the most of new trading opportunities and to jointly tackle global issues such as preserving our environment and fighting climate change.
The decisions we take will follow the spirit and letter of these 10 commitments. The Union of today is stronger than that of yesterday and we want to continue to build its strength for tomorrow. This is our commitment for the future generations. This is the spirit of Sibiu and of a new Union at 27 ready to embrace its future as one.