Dear speech-fans and -friends,

What do you remember from President elect Emmanuel Macron’s victory speech at Le Louvre, on 7 May?

I run a quick and informal poll among a few dozens people. Everyone mentioned the European anthem played as the newly elected French President walked to the podium.

And the quote most people remembered was:

« Tout le monde nous disait que c’était impossible, mais ils ne connaissaient pas la France ! » (Everyone told us it was impossible, but they did not know France). Read the full speech here: Emmanuel Macron, Victory speech, Carrousel du Louvre, 7 May 2017

For our next speech: what do we want the audience to remember?

Some more examples in our monthly selection of quotes on:



The illiteracy of the modern world is not the incapacity to read or write. 

The illiteracy of the modern world is the incapacity to critical thinking. 

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Speech at Gazeta Wyborcza in Warsaw, 19 May 2017

My request to you is : how far will you go? What is the next thing? Burning books on the square in front of the Hungarian Parliament ?

Watch the full speech here : Guy Verhofstadt, Debate in the European Parliament on the situation in Hungary, 26 April 2017

Harari in his book Sapiens explains why Homo Sapiens was the only human species to survive. Why the Neanderthals disappear. And he says: ‘The wandering bands of storytelling sapiens were the most important force the animal kingdom had produced.’ (…)

Collectively we need to be more vocal about our stories. We hesitate too much to tell our stories to the broader public (…). I want to encourage you to tell them to everyone. Tell them to your friends and families. Publish them in newspapers. Write letters to politicians and tell them. Tell them so that everyone can see how important and how beautiful science can be.

Read the full speech here : Carlos Moedas, The power of storytelling in science, Tel Aviv, Israel, 17 May 2 

Let me add as a real conclusion a personal note which is also a kind of a personal paradox:

I remember that my very first vote, when I was 21, long time ago, last century, in France, was to say "yes" to the accession of the UK. At that time, we had a referendum in France for the accession of the UK, Ireland, Norway and Denmark. And I campaigned at that time for the "yes" for the accession. It was not so easy for a member of the Gaullist party. But I did it. And sincerely, I never regretted that vote. And that is the reason why I regret what is happening now.

But let's turn the page together. In mutual respect and find solutions together.

Read the full speech here: Michel Barnier, Speech at the Joint Houses of the Oireachtas (Houses of Parliament of Ireland), Dublin, 11 May 2017

There is no protection in protectionism.

But there is isolation in isolationism. 

Read the full speech here: Frans Timmermans, Remarks on the reflection paper on harnessing globalisation, 10 May 2017

Il n'y a pas suffisamment de solidarité en Europe. Le grand absent européen, c'est la solidarité. A qui le dis-je ? En Italie, et je l'ai dit dans cette ville même, en faisant campagne en 2014 avec le résultat que vous connaissez. L'Italie, dès le premier jour de la crise migratoire, fait tout ce qu'elle peut faire. L'Italie en fait, faute de présence suffisante de l'Europe, a sauvé et sauve jusqu'à ce jour l'honneur de l'Europe. 

Read the full speech here: Jean-Claude Juncker, State of the Union conference: Building a people's Europe, European University Institute, Florence, 5 May 2017 

The (Carlos V) award is first and foremost a tribute to his political career. But it is also (…) a homage to a whole generation of Spaniards. A generation that, in overcoming all obstacles and against all odds, achieved the miraculous transition to democracy in record time. That generation provided the world with an example of reconciliation, solidarity and generosity, making Spain into the open, diverse, modern and dynamic country that it is today.

Read the full speech here: Antonio Tajani, Speech at the Carlos V Award ceremony, 9 May 2017



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