Key texts and sources

Lisbon Treaty Articles

The ideals and objectives of the current European Union are enshrined in Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TEU and TFEU) (Consolidated in document 2012/C 326/01) which was signed in Lisbon on 13th December 2007.

 Article 2 (TEU)

The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

 Article 3 (TEU/TFEU) 

1. The Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples.  

2. The Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime. 

3. The Union shall establish an internal market. It shall work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. It shall promote scientific and technological advance. 
It shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, and shall promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child. 
It shall promote economic, social and territorial cohesion, and solidarity among Member States. 
It shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.

4. The Union shall establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro.

5. In its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to the protection of its citizens. It shall contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child, as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Milestone speeches towards a united Europe

Since the Second World War many notable statements and speeches have been made by politicians seeking to develop the community of European nations in peace and prosperity. Some are noted below:

Winston Churchill, speech delivered at the University of Zurich,
19th September 1946 
“We must build a kind of United States of Europe.  . . .    In this urgent work France and Germany . . .  Great Britain  . . .  must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe. . .  Therefore I say to you “Let Europe arise!”. 

The Schuman Declaration – 9th May 1950
 “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first creates a de facto solidarity.”

Margaret Thatcher, concluding her speech to the College of Europe
(“The Bruges Speech”) September 20th 1988
“Let Europe be a family of nations, understanding each other better, appreciating each other more, doing more together but relishing our national identity no less than our common European endeavour.”

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