The value of Europe: Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on Europe Day

May 9, 2022
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Like every year, we celebrate Europe Day on 9 May and commemorate Robert Schuman’s founding declaration, which launched the European project. Today, this commemoration takes on a very particular meaning. Since 24 February, Europe as a whole has seen the return of war on a large scale on its territory, with an aggressor on one side, Russia, and an aggressed on the other, Ukraine. This war affects first and foremost Europe because it is taking place on its soil. And even if Ukraine is not a Member State of the European Union, it is a very close partner, with whom we have the most comprehensive association agreement and whose European vocation is undeniable.

While for most of our citizens the EU integration process is a huge success story, some of our fellow Europeans have also been swayed by doubts about the usefulness of the European project. In the last years, an increasing number of parties have agitated against the EU and fed doubts about it, including on the EU’s role as a global security actor. The war in Ukraine reminds us now in a dramatic and striking way of the enduring value of the European Union as a peace project among Europeans and as a strong actor to uphold and promote security on our continent and in the wider world.


Through this war, Europe’s process of learning how to use the language of powers is speeding up. 9 May 2022 must underline this growing awareness: to defend the EU and the values upon which it is based; to put our collective power at the service of our partner Ukraine to defend itself and its full and complete sovereignty; to work with the international community in preserving key international norms and security and to exercise solidarity to address the global consequences of this aggression.

For more information

Full statement

Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia
Human Rights