71 years after the publication of the “Schuman Declaration”, which announced the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, which is the predecessor of the European Union, Europe is wondering how to proceed. At the one-year Conference on the Future of Europe, which symbolically begins on 9th of May, citizens across the continent will have the opportunity to participate in the process of reviewing European policies and institutions with a view to adapting to a rapidly changing world, not only because of health challenges, but because of the consequences of climate change, digitalization and technological innovations, demographic trends, as well as new forms of competition and conflicts between states, especially among great countries, from which smaller countries are not spared.
We preserve, change and improve Europe and the European Union, because even after more than seven decades, European integration in its various forms is an example and model for all humanity. Serbia is and should be part of that process. It is important that Serbia continues on the path of integration into the European Union, and see it as a key strategical national goal, of which successful realization depends the aspect of society and the quality of life for future generations.
We welcome efforts to renew the dynamics of negotiations on Serbia’s integration to the European Union, after several years of lagging behind, which will largely depend on accelerating reforms in Serbia, respecting the rule of law, a more comprehensive fight against corruption, as well as respecting the principals of democracy. Democratic rule, which leads Serbia to Europe, implies full access to information for citizens, respect for the competencies of state institutions and the principles of separation of power, as well as respect for all political and social actors, including the opposition, social partners, civil society, the professional community, media and civil movements.
We live in a difficult period when the pandemic affected without exception all of humanity and all countries. These difficult times has shown all of us the importance of solidarity and mutual assistance, which is the essence of the idea of European integration. The European Union has helped Serbia and the countries of the Western Balkans region to fight against this difficult tragedy in various ways, from stimulating research and production of vaccines, medical and financial aid, and many other ways.
Created primarily as a peace project based on economic and social goals, European integration is both a way to overcome the blindness and narrow-mindedness of nationalism and to jointly promote the fundamental values of modern Europe and the world such as respect for democracy, individuals and human rights; respect for the rule of law; promoting ethnic, national, linguistic and all other minorities and minority rights; the principles of peaceful cooperation with neighboring states and all other states, as well as the principles of social solidarity and social justice.
Serbia belongs to Europe and shares the same future with it. The European Movement in Serbia wishes a happy Europe Day and a successful start to the Conference on its future, in the work of which we invite you to participate. Because our opinion and actions are changing Europe.