Dear speech-fans and -friends,

Data has been all over the news this past month. Little surprise it ranks high in this selection of the best speeches and quotes to highlight its importance (Andrus Ansip), denounce abuse (Guy Verhofstadt), or restore hope in the future (Carlos Moedas). 

You’ll find these and more examples of what good rhetoric is on:

If you read French, une nouvelle lecture vous attend dans la section Bibliographie. 


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Best wishes,

Great speeches,



One word to remember

Today, we are here to discuss technologies that will change our world. For this, there is just one word to remember: data.

(with 21 occurrences in a 10-minute speech)

Read the full speech here, Andrus Ansip, Technologies that will change our world, 15 May 2018


The power of a question

You have to ask yourself how you will be remembered : as one of the three big internet giants, together with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who have enriched our world and our societies ? Or on the other hand, in fact as a genius who created a digital monster that is destroying our democracies and societies ? 

Watch the full speech here, Guy Verhofstadt, Conference of Presidents with Mark Zuckerberg, 22 May 2018 (starting at 11’.10’’)


Surprises, anecdotes, quotes, stories, 

and tricolons 

I look at the media, or I talk to people and so often all I hear is Doubt. Fear. Disbelief (…)

I think we are not "afraid" of new technologies so much as we are afraid of the loss that we think they will bring. Our lives. Our control. Our jobs.

Read the full speech here, Carlos Moedas, Horasis global meeting, 6 May 2018

One common thread

If there is one common thread to what I have been saying about emerging and future technologies, it is this:

Europe, and all its countries, needs to work together – and now.

Part of this is about being at the forefront of progress and staying there.

Another part is about the need to invest politically and financially for the future.

But the main part is about doing the best that we possibly can for our people, our companies, our industry – to drive Europe ahead in the digital world.

That is what the Digital Single Market aims to achieve, supported by funding from our next budget.

Read the full speech here, Andrus Ansip, Technologies that will change our world, 15 May 2018


Calling the past to mind (aka anamnesis)

(English below)

Lieber Emmanuel, das heutige Datum, der 10. Mai, mahnt uns. 1933 haben an diesem Tag Nationalsozialisten in Berlin und anderen deutschen Universitätsstädten Bücher zahlreicher ihnen missliebiger Autoren verbrannt, Werke von Heinrich Heine und Sigmund Freud, von Heinrich und Thomas Mann, Karl Marx und Kurt Tucholsky. Heute, 85 Jahre beziehungsweise ein Menschenleben später, müssen wir daran erinnern, dass Freiheitswerte ein zerbrechliches Gut sind, das wir immer wieder schützen und verteidigen müssen. 

Lesen Sie die ganze Rede, Angela Merkel, anlässlich der Verleihung des Karlspreises, Aachen, 10. Mai 2018


(In English)

Emmanuel, today’s date, 10 May, serves as a warning to us. It was on this day in 1933 that National Socialists in Berlin and other German university cities burned books by numerous authors whom they couldn't abide, including works by Heinrich Heine, Sigmund Freud, Heinrich and Thomas Mann, Karl Marx and Kurt Tucholsky. Today, 85 years or an entire human life later, we must recall that liberal values are a fragile commodity that we must continue to protect and defend.

Read the full speech here: Angela Merkel, Ceremony awarding the International Charlemagne Prize to French President Emmanuel Macron, Aachen, 10 May 2018



(English and German below)

Ne soyons pas faibles et choisissons, 

ne soyons pas divisés mais unissons-nous, 

n'ayons pas peur mais osons faire et être à la hauteur de nos histoires et n'attendons pas, agissons maintenant.

Retrouvez le discours intégral ici: Emmanuel Macron, Remise du prix Charlemagne à Aix-la-Chapelle, 10 mai 2018

Regardez la vidéo du discours ici


(In English)

Let’s not be weak but make a choice.

Let’s not be divided but unite.

Let’s not be afraid but be bold enough to do things and live up to our histories;  and let’s not wait, let’s act now.

Read the full speech here: Emmanuel Macron, On receiving the Charlemagne prize, 10 mai 2018


(Auf Deutsch)

Seien wir nicht schwach! Treffen wir eine Wahl! 

Lassen wir uns nicht spalten! Sondern schließen wir uns zusammen! 

Seien wir nicht furchtsam! Sondern trauen wir uns! 

Und werden wir unserer Geschichte gerecht! Warten wir nicht! Handeln wir jetzt!

Die Ganze Rede, Emmanuel, Macron, Verleihung des Karlspreises, Aachen, 10. Mai 2018


Repetition, repetition, repetition

(English, German and Dutch below)

Il y a 60 ans, des hommes d’Etat visionnaires (les pères fondateurs, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman…) ont choisi de poser les pierres fondatrices d’un projet de réconciliation, de paix et de prospérité. Il leur a fallu du courage, de l’optimisme et de la confiance.

Plus tard, sur les ruines du Mur de Berlin, la génération emmenée par Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand et Jacques Delors a décidé de sceller une alliance solide. Ils ont jeté les bases de la zone euro, ils ont ouvert l’espace Schengen avec des avancées tangibles pour nos concitoyens. Il leur a fallu du courage, de l’optimisme et de la confiance.

Notre génération politique et citoyenne tient aujourd’hui dans ses mains l’avenir du rêve européen. Après les Pères fondateurs, après la génération des bâtisseurs, il nous appartient d’être les entrepreneurs de notre destin commun.

Il nous appartient de donner un nouvel élan, une impulsion.

A nous, maintenant de mettre en œuvre cette promesse.

Cet idéal qui repose sur des valeurs intangibles que nous chérissons : la dignité de chaque être humain, sa liberté et sa responsabilité.

A nous, maintenant de faire preuve de courage, d’optimisme et de confiance.

Retrouvez le discours intégral ici: Charles Michel, Débat sur l’avenir de l'Europe, Parlement européen, 3 mai 2018


60 years ago, visionary statesmen (the Founding fathers, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman...) decided to set the first stones of a project of reconciliation, peace and prosperity. This required courage, optimism and faith.

Later, building on the ruins of the Berlin wall, the generation led by Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand and Jacques Delors decided to forge a strong alliance. They laid the groundwork for the euro area, opened up the Schengen area, with tangible progress for our fellow citizens. This required courage, optimism and faith. 

Our political generation and our citizens’ generation now hold the future of the European dream in their hands. After the founding fathers, after the generation of builders, it is up to us to take on our common destiny. It is up to us to give a new impetus, an impulse. It is up to us now to make this promise work. This ideal is based on intangible values that we cherish: the dignity of every human being, their liberties and their responsibility.

Now we have to show courage, optimism and faith.

Read the full speech here, Charles Michel, Debate on the future of Europe, European Parliament, 3 May 2018

Die ganze Rede auf Deutsch

In het Nederlands


No budget in time, what does it mean ? 

Il y a aura 1 million de jeunes de moins pour participer au programme Erasmus. Il y aura perte mensuelle de 5 000 emplois de chercheurs sur toute l'Europe.

Retrouvez le discours intégral ici: Jean-Claude Juncker, Conférence sur l'état de l'Union, Institut universitaire européen, Florence, 11 mai 2018