Robert Schuman's declaration of May 9, 1950 opens with an invocation for world peace. Europe has brought war to many parts of the world, even the two world wars were born in the old continent. For this reason, the founding fathers felt the responsibility not only to guarantee peace among the European peoples, but also to make Europe the messenger of peace throughout the world.

This Europe cannot be built all at once, as Jean Monnet taught us. It requires patience. None of the great political feats were completed in a single moment. This is true of our states and the rights we enjoy which have been built through years, decades, centuries, battles, hardships and sufferings. But it is still not enough in that « creative efforts » are also needed, as said by Schuman. For this we need the new generations: we must not only remember, but also invent new things. In the face of war and poverty there is no manual with instructions, we need to multiply the relationships between us and to highlight the things we have in common.

« Community - said De Gasperi - is that place where we are in solidarity with the other members of which it is composed ». And in order to create a community, Schuman’s intuition was to establish some things in common to prevent us from waging war among ourselves. In particular, the smelting of coal and steel.

It is fitting to bear in mind that declaration under the Bell, since the Bell is also the product of a fusion, of the same intuition: putting together what divides us, the instruments of war, so that it becomes an instrument of Peace.

Harmonious coexistence is like a path that must pass through respect for suffering

Maria Dolens, however, also reminds us of pain, she reminds us that peace is not a naïve aspiration and that it does not arise from the refusal to look at the evil of the world. The Rovereto Peace Bell and the European Union convey peace as a path that passes through respect for suffering. Right now, we are thinking of Ukraine and the victims of an aggression that can on no account be justified.

The United Nations stresses that aggression may never be justified for any economic, political or social reason. This is the international law that we laid down and also for this reason, in the face of the attack, Ukraine has been able to transform pain into an extraordinary desire for Europe.

It is no coincidence that the flag of Europe is made up of a blue background with stars that symbolize diversity and harmony. There are not many flags that have chosen the color of the sky. And what the sky might mean was made clear by De Gasperi while writing «behind the bars of the prison, I am looking for a piece of blue sky». The flag of Europe is meant to be a piece of heaven to which we can look in terms of what it represents with regard to the desire for freedom.

Europe is not just a continent but is a way of life in which there is respect for human dignity and freedom for all alongside peace.

 

Michele Nicoletti, representative of the European Union (transcription from the speech)

None of the great political feats were completed in a single moment

Community - said De Gasperi - is that place where we are in solidarity with the other members of which it is composed