«Today, we live in a fragile and fragmented Europe. During the course of our careers, we have had the chance to become very familiar with the US, and then China, becoming the Superpowers of today, and of tomorrow. We are aware of the overriding obligation on Europe to further integrate to find a balance with these two giants once again.
We are now in a new phase of European integration – one belonging to a new generation – more active, more inventive and more united – who are entering public life.
An open environment must be created, peaceful and free, where you can explore opportunities and plan your life, against the backdrop of one of the most fascinating and diverse civilizations that humanity has ever created.
This project belongs to you. For it to be successful, you must cast aside negative ideas – political bias, personal ego and the fear of change to name but a few – and, relying on the foundations of our history, believe in the sincere hope of building one of the great civilizations of the 21st century.
We ask that you succeed.»
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing
& Helmut Schmidt