Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Suspense had been at its height over the last few weeks.

From all the candidates, who would be selected?

Which speech would have the strongest impact and qualify its author for the final round?

At last, we now know who ‘exemplifies excellence in modern oral rhetoric’: the Cicero Awards were attributed and it is a real pleasure to introduce you to the Grand Award winner: find out how to combine stories that keep the audience with the speaker and build his credibility on a difficult issue; humour that triggers laughters and language that is vivid and visual; and a structure that progressively, in a subtle, yet effective way, leads to a strong call for action. 

In other words, logos, pathos, ethos at its best.

This speech, the other laureates, and our monthly selection are on



It bothers me that declaring a simple truth is somehow so controversial. I mean, I get it. I understand why it’s controversial (...)

I can say from experience, it’s hard to get a diversity of ideas from a room full of old, white, straight, cisgender men, who all look like me and who have similar life experiences.

Read the full speech here: James Clapper, Why black lives matter to US intelligence, 4 November 2016

(link to the interpretation in 23 languages below)

Europa no es un mercado, es la voluntad de vivir juntos. Dejar Europa no es dejar un mercado, es dejar los sueños compartidos. Se puede tener un mercado común pero, si no se tienen sueños comunes, no tenemos nada. Europa es la paz que vino después del desastre de la guerra. Europa es el perdón entre franceses y alemanes. Europa es la vuelta a la libertad de Grecia, España y Portugal. Europa es la caída del muro de Berlín. Europa es el final del comunismo. Europa es el Estado del bienestar, es la democracia. Europa es los derechos fundamentales. ¿Podemos vivir sin todo eso? ¿Podemos renunciar a todo eso? ¿Por un mercado vamos a dejar atrás todo eso?

Watch the full speech (you can choose among 24 languages)

Esteban Gonzalez Pons, 60th anniversary of Europe, 15 March 2017


Those who propose to undo diversity are people who propose to unscramble scrambled eggs. You create an incredible mess in your kitchen if you try to do that, but the eggs will stay scrambled. They only become inedible and that is not a proposition I would follow. 

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Commemorative lecture Carlos de Amberes Foundation, 30 March 2017


But why does this matter to us? 

Why should we care what happens to science in other countries or on other continents? 

The answer is simple: science belongs to everyone and serves all of us.

Read the full speech here: Carlos Moedas, Why I am marching for science, 21 April 2017



No meeting is more ingrained in my memory than that of 13 November 2015: The day was actually intended to pay tribute to the many Frenchmen and women who had shown untiring commitment during the response efforts in the aftermath of the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps. We were sitting next to each other in the Stade de France with those volunteers on the evening of 13 November, looking forward to a friendly match between our two national football teams. 

After only half an hour, the evening took a dramatic turn. We both received initial reports about a terrorist attack right outside the stadium. By the minute, there was more and more horrendous news about what was happening near the stadium and at other locations in Paris. Shocked and appalled, we eventually got a clearer picture of the absolute barbarisms that had occurred. Maybe, dear François Hollande, it was more than just a coincidence that Germany was able to stand shoulder to shoulder with France on that fateful day.

Read the full speech here: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, First official visit to France, 30 March 2017


When we were in the Convention, we drafted Article 50 because we wanted to take away all these feelings that the EU is a prison. It is not. You become a member because you want to and if you do not want to be a member anymore you can leave. That is why we drafted Article 50.

But there was no one, no one in the convention, not even anyone in the British delegation, who thought we would actually ever use Article 50. Frankly, at the time, Brexit or the exit of any other member state was unimaginable, literally unimaginable. 

And the lesson to learn here in my view is: nothing is unimaginable in this Europe of ours. 

The disintegration of Europe? Not unimaginable.

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Commemorative lecture Carlos de Amberes Foundation, 30 March 2017


(English below) Diese Jungen, die haben es satt, dass über Europa nur noch die reden, die es schlechtreden. Die wollen nicht, dass ihnen ihre Hoffnung, ihre Zukunft von Populisten geraubt wird oder durch Lethargie abhanden kommt. Deshalb sind sie rausgegangen und haben gezeigt: Der Puls Europas schlägt nicht nur hier in diesem Parlament, sondern auch auf den Straßen und Plätzen! 

Read the full speech in German here: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Address to the European Parliament, 4 April 2017

These young people are sick and tired of having only the nitpickers' voices heard on the subject of Europe. They do not want their hopes and futures stolen away by populists, or lost to lethargy. That’s why they took to the streets, to show that Europe’s lifeblood is found not only here in this parliament, but also on the streets and in public spaces! 

Read the full speech in English here: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Address to the European Parliament, 4 April 2017



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