Dear speech-fans and -friends,

A wind of bracing openings, unexpected quotes, and refreshing tropes has been blowing on this past month’s speeches. 

They are more than welcome; they are necessary to renew the debate on the future of Europe, ahead of the European elections next year.

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

Have a relaxing and inspiring summer. This newsletter will be back for the September issue.

Best wishes,

Great speeches,



Make it easy to grasp

It means that by the time I’ve finished this short speech, somewhere in the world another five women will have lost their lives through complications in pregnancy or childbirth. And twenty more will suffer lifelong pain or disability.


It’s not “just a woman’s problem” – it’s an insult to all humanity.

Rhetorical question

As the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation estimated, every dollar spent can save up to six dollars which can then be used for housing, sanitation and other services. So how can we afford not to?

When the speech comes full circle

It’s essential for helping us to achieve our global goals of healthy, happy and prosperous societies and economies. This is why I was determined to make women and girls the focus of this year’s European Development Days.

And why I am very happy to join you here today. Thank you very much.

Read the full speech here: Neven Mimica, No health without rights – women and girls decide, 5 June 2018


Unexpected simile

Beyen wrote: ‘Europe is like a giraffe: an animal difficult to define but easy to recognise.’ And fifty years on, that’s still a good description.

Tricolons, repetitions, quotes, crescendo, varied rhythm and much more :

Read the full speech here: Mark Rutte, The future of the European Union, 13 June 2018

Nothing less than a miracle

The fact that we, in this year, on this occasion and as representatives of our countries, are discussing the role of Poland and Germany in a united Europe, that we are no longer merely neighbours, but part of this European Union, is far more than many of our predecessors could possibly have imagined.

Indeed, that we would one day work together was so unimaginable for so long that many are apt to call this a miracle.

Read the full speech here: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Poland and Germany in Europe, 5 June 2018

Made available in … Polish as well, of course !


Ouvrir avec un constat fort

Nous avons une malchance peut-être qui va avec l’expérience de notre génération : nous ne nous apprêtons pas à vivre des temps calmes. Nous ne sommes d’ores et déjà pas en train de vivre des temps calmes, et ceux qui pensent que nous pourrions continuer à faire des réunions comme nous en avons toujours fait, parce que nous avions pris ce pli, se trompent profondément (...).

Contraste, anthithèse

Comprendre le choc de la mondialisation. La refuser est illusoire, la diaboliser est trop facile.

Question rhétorique, relevée par une répétition

Comment penser que nous pouvons durablement vivre dans un monde où la richesse par habitant est 50 fois supérieure – 50 fois – dans les pays de l’OCDE à ce qu’elle est dans les pays à faibles revenus ?


Cette violence est là, partout, et elle contribue aussi à faire douter de ce monde contemporain. Face à cette mondialisation qui crée la richesse, en creusant les inégalités, qui nourrit du doute par ces nouvelles formes d’inégalités et cette violence, le risque ultime, la faute que nous pourrions faire, c’est de tourner le dos au multilatéralisme. Ce serait de considérer que le multilatéralisme est inefficace, inadapté, bureaucratique, déconnecté. J’entends ce discours ! Les critiques sont nombreuses ! Elles sont commodes ! Elles ont une part de vérité ! Avons-nous tout bien fait, sur le plan international ? Non. N’avons-nous pas toléré des inégalités qui apparaissaient clairement ? N’avons-nous pas été trop lents pour lutter contre les excès que vous décriviez à l’instant, Monsieur le Secrétaire Général ? Oui. N’avons-nous pas tardé, avant de nous saisir du défi climatique, ou de nous organiser collectivement pour lutter contre le terrorisme ? La première réunion avec toutes les parties prenantes, pour lutter contre le financement du terrorisme, ça n’était qu’il y a quelques semaines ici !

Donc oui, nous avons parfois mis du temps, manqué d’efficacité. J’entends tout cela. Mais est-ce que le repli national est la bonne réponse à ce que nous sommes en train de vivre ?

Lire le discours intégral: Emmanuel Macron, Ouverture de la session ministérielle de l'OCDE, 31 mai 2018


What a short quote can bring

The Dalai Lama once joked that if you think you are too small to make a difference, you should try sleeping in a room with a mosquito!

Read the full speech here: Neven Mimica, No child left behind: Families not institutions – EU external action championing children’s rights, 15 June 2018


Call to action

Look around and you will see that same diversity here today, in the form of your peers seated on all sides of you. When looking at them, take a moment to think what Europe was like before the European Union. Think of the thousands of young Europeans who lived then. They did not have the same opportunities as you do today.

Their fate was not in their own hands, but in those of the despotic elites that plunged our continent into two world wars.

Separated from one another by trenches and no-man’s land or oppressive walls, they were never masters of their own destiny.

You represent a very different Europe. You are the children of a modern, democratic and open Europe. You are the Europe of trust and freedom.

You have a world full of opportunities at your feet.

Read the full speech here: Antonio Tajani, European Youth Event (EYE), 1 June 2018 (available also in French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish)


Fresh and expected opening

I’m so glad to be part of this wonderful event today. And I’m especially glad that you invited me this year. Because next year is supposed to be a tough one for tech.2019 is when – if you believe the film Blade Runner – renegade androids should be roaming the Earth. It’s when – according to The Island - we should all have clones created just to provide us spare organs.

Click here to get more fresh and unexpected content and find out how this speech ends to come full circle

Read the full speech here: Margrethe Vestager, When technology serves people, 1 June 2018