SPEECH BY ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI FOLLOWING THE EU REFERENDUM
Rome, 24 June 2016Good morning to all,
Yesterday, the British people made a choice and we respect this decision. Now, we turn the page. This day is unprecedented and not easy, but, throughout its history, Europe has demonstrated to be able to overcome any difficulty.
I am here to say that Italy will play an active role in the path that will begin today. The government and the European institutions will guarantee, through every means possible, the stability of the financial system and the safety of people’s savings.
Besides, Italy has returned to being more solid. Today, Italy has a duty: to offer its solidity to other European partners. For this reason, starting from tomorrow, we will work together with the ministers of foreign affairs, beginning with the ones of the founding countries and then, on Monday, when I will meet Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande in Berlin.
If I were to give Europe a name, it would be ‘home’. This is because a home is not only a physical place, but a collection of feelings and emotions. A home is a place of solidity and security. Europe is our ‘home’. It is not only the home of Italians, but it is our home. It is the home of our children and grandchildren. We are saying it today, more than ever, convinced like we are that this home has to be renovated, maybe refreshed. But it is the home of our tomorrow.
The World which will come has a strong need for Europe. A Europe of values, a Europe of imagination, a Europe of innovation, a Europe of courage, a Europe of passion, a Europe of culture, of liberty, a Europe of democracy. In one word, we can say that the world needs a Europe of Humanism, which has marked our society for centuries.
And to who demands for more security and more tranquility, we must remind that there are 70 years of history, which demonstrate that peace has been possible because of unity, and not division and that the most incredible period of peace in history was guaranteed by this institution, which was able to put an end to decades, centuries of wars.
We must make that which unites us prevail, and not that which divides us. This is the time for lucidity and balance. It is the time to be calm, which in a complex moment, could help Europe become a protagonist again.
On 25th of March 2017, we will remember in Rome the 60 years from the signing of the first treaties. We want to arrive to this date having involved and having been involved by all the European institutions and our partners. We want to reach this date having done a joint effort of sharing and in unity. Because we Italians know what it means to have responsibilities towards history. Being responsible towards our history doesn’t mean only being responsible towards our past, towards the founding fathers, but also being responsible also towards the future and the children who ask for more Europe. A Europe that is more capable of interpreting their dreams, their emotions and their expectations.
We will mark the recurrence of the anniversary in Rome on the 25th of March, 2017, with the conviction and awareness that in moments of hardship Europe shows its best side.
– Video of the speech (in Italian)