British cooking has never been so popular

Fish and chips - yum! (picture Christine Lowe / Flickr)

Message to Europa-Union Deutschland Congress, 16-17 November 2001, Fulda

Dear Friends,

Your Congress meets at an important time for Europe and at an important time for the federalist movement.

The European reaction to the events of 11 September showed how strong the Atlantic link is. Those people who feared that growing European cooperation would threaten the relationship have surely been proved wrong.

However the trans-Atlantic link must not only be strong, it must be open. Europe must not be a silent partner. A true friend will tell the uncomfortable truth that the problems of the world cannot be solved by military action and justice is an important element of solutions.

But Europe is currently unable to speak. This was shown on Sunday 4 November when Tony Blair tried to fix a deal between a few friends over dinner. Suddenly the rest of Europe demanded to be invited. Never has British cooking been so popular. That dinner showed that Europe needs to be represented by common institutions, not by convenient private gatherings of government leaders. Only democratic institutions can be effective and only effective institutions can be democratic. That is the lesson Tony Blair is teaching us.

But this is not news to the Europa-Union Deutschland. This is something that you yourselves have been telling the world. We admire and respect the way you communicate this message and we look forward to how you will do this in the future.

May we wish you a successful Congress.

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