Those with a sense of history know that many of the world’s great political projects have emerged from periods of conflict followed by subsequent cooperation and consensus-building. This was certainly the case with the “European project” and its present manifestation, the European Union. Sometimes it is necessary to draw on the wisdom of elder statesmen – whose lives have been punctuated by these struggles and efforts at cooperation – to remind us of the origins of such projects as these and of their fragility.

In his speech ‘Germany in and with and for Europe’, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt provided his audience at the 2011 SPD Congress with an honest and reflective assessment of the European project and of Germany’s place within it.

While this speech was given in German and comes from the centre of Europe, FEPS has wished to disseminate this throughout Europe and to the periphery. Therefore, the Foundation took the initiative to give the peoples of Europe a chance to share former Chancellor Schmidt’s reflections in their own languages.

Prefaced by Massimo D’Alema, President of FEPS and Former Prime Minister of Italy and Sigmar Gabriel, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, edited by FEPS with the financial support of the European Parliament, this book offers the version of this very important speech in DE-EN-BG-ES-CZ-DA-EL-FR-IT-HU-NL-PL-PT-RO-FI-SV.

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