Dear speech-fans and -friends, 

It's a little late, perhaps, for new year’s resolutions. But I'd like to suggest that we all make one anyway:  To do our bit to help Europeans get involved in building a bright future for Europe.’

This quote is from EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in her Competition and the future of Europe speech, delivered on 17 January 2018.

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Enjoy the latest selection - and keep the resolution. 

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Great speeches, 




The world is changing. But that doesn't mean the right way to respond is by changing our Union. By creating new institutions, drafting new treaties, producing new legislation by the barrowload.

All those things might seem to carry the stamp of action. But they won't necessarily make people's lives better or help us play a more forceful global role. And the measure of our success in facing up to the future shouldn't be how much we change our institutions, but how much we change people’s lives, and improve everyone’s opportunities.

Read the full speech here: Margrethe Vestager, Competition and the future of Europe, 17 January 2018

Ethos and pathos combined

Calling to memory past matters (also known as anamnesis)

Who, if not you –  the descendants of Spartacus, the inheritors of the oldest European statehood, you, who never ever lost a flag in any battle – would be better placed to rise to this important and exceptionally difficult task, that is to renew the European perspective for the whole of the region?

Read the full speech here: Donald Tusk, Opening ceremony of the Bulgarian presidency, 11 January 2018

Proving a statement by referring to common knowledge  (also known as apodixis)

What makes our European economies strong is the Single Market. The British know this well, since it was the main reason why they joined the EEC in 1972.

Read the full speech here: Michel Barnier, Trends Manager of the year 2017, 9 January 2018


 (English translation below, French and Spanish translations on the website)

"Concordia domi foris pax" – "Eintracht innen, draußen Friede" (...) "Eintracht innen" – das ist eine Herausforderung in fast allen Demokratien. Aber nicht nur dort. Die Polarisierung vieler Gesellschaften, wachsende Unversöhnlichkeit von politischen Gegnern und eine größer werdende Distanz zwischen gesellschaftlichen Gruppen sind mir auf Reisen im In- und Ausland immer wieder begegnet. Der Druck der Globalisierung und die veränderte Debattenkultur im Zeitalter der Digitalisierung stellen den inneren Zusammenhalt unserer Gesellschaften auf die Probe.

Lesen Sie die Ganze Rede: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Neujahrsempfang für das Diplomatische Korps, 11. Januar 2018

"Concordia domi foris pax" – "harmony inside, peace outside" (…) Ensuring "harmony inside" is a challenge in almost all democracies. On my travels both in Germany and abroad, I have seen again and again the polarisation of many societies, growing irreconcilability between political opponents and increasing distance between social groups. The pressures of globalisation and the changed culture of debate in the digital age are putting our societies’ internal cohesion to the test.

Read the full speech here: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, New Year reception for the Diplomatic Corps, 11 January 2018

Par un habile renversement, le mensonge se drape des atours de la vérité cachée au peuple (...). Et la charge de la preuve est inversée : là où les journalistes doivent prouver sans cesse ce qu’ils disent – ce qui est l’éthique même de leur métier, ils doivent montrer qu’ils disent ou écrivent le vrai –, les propagateurs de fausses nouvelles crient à la face du monde : « À vous de prouver que nous avons tort ! »

Lisez le discours intégral: Emmanuel Macron, Voeux à la presse, 4 janvier 2018


Adding one example to another to another

This year, I do not want to talk only about the space industry per se but about all other industries - enabled by space.

The digital market depends on Galileo’s geo-localisation services

Copernicus allows to track the shipment of goods along European highways thanks to satellites’ imagery. It therefore enhances the integration of the internal market.

The safety of our aviation industry is much owed to the EGNOS technology. 2017 was the safest year in aviation history, despite more difficult weather conditions of recent years. EGNOS V3 will increase even more the precision in and around Europe.

Our security and the way we defend our borders, track migration patterns and provide emergency aid  in remote areas - are all significantly reinforced by space services

I haven't even mentioned the contribution of satellites to our financial services which now have a precise stamping time on transactions.

I could go on and on but you see my point. We speak about space as an industry where it definitely has its own merits. But we should always remind ourselves that space is an enabler to practically all other industries. That is my first message for you today.

Read the full speech here: Maroš Šefčovič, 10th annual conference on European Space Policy, 23 January 2018


Adding one example to another to another

in a sequence of increasing force (also known as auxesis),

building a climax

The figures are telling:

where the US invests in developing one type of tank, in Europe we have 17 different types.

While the US have 4 different frigates, in Europe we have 29.

For jet fighters, it is 6 versus 20.

A reporter once remarked: this is an area where even socks for soldiers have national specifications and are procured nationally.(...)

There are surely good reasons for having different national specifications and for doing things separately in defence, as in other areas. But even more are there good reasons to do things together.

Read the full speech here: Jyrki Katainen, Opening Speech at CEPS' Future of Europe Series, 19 January 2018


Rhetorical questions

I think we can live with (the current situation), but it does not make any sense. So that is why I want to concentrate on the procedure.

So what should be different?

The biggest challenge for this (multi-annual budget framework) is to change in the attitude of the co-legislators.

Do we only concentrate on the amount of money or do we concentrate on the content of the budget?

I think both are relevant, but you cannot take one over the other.

So, if I was still the Prime Minister of my country, what I would do?

Read the full speech here: Jyrki Katainen, A Budget for the EU27, 8 January 2018


Relate figures, especially huuuuge figures, to people’s lives

We simply cannot understate the value of (peace) in today's world. The value of sustainable peace, built in partnership, through dialogue, respect, and mutual understanding. Last year, the estimated economic costs of violence were over 14 trillion dollars – or almost 2,000 dollars for every person on the planet.

Read the full speech here: Neven Mimica, The security-development nexus: a pillar of sustainable peace, 10 January 2018



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