Year XXXIV, 1992, Number 2 - Page 140
MESSAGE OF MIKHAIL GORBACHEV TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE 15th CONGRESS OF THE UNION OF EUROPEAN FEDERALISTS
Allow me to address you by using this very term, since it seems to me that our ideas concerning the needs and the imperatives that Europe and the whole world must meet on the eve of the XXI Century are in many ways very similar. And they integrate with one another, even though they sometimes diverge. This does not frighten me at all. On the contrary, the variety of the ideas of the world is our common wealth. And as the French proverb runs “the truth come out when there’s a difference of opinion”.
History has left its scars on all of us. It has shown how people lack union and, above all, that their opposition, even though partly justifiable, only leads to undesirable events.
The ideas of your movement clearly show that humanity and, in particular, Europeans, can learn from their mistakes of the past.
But it is exactly because of the fact that the trend towards new democratic forms of approach, collaboration and organisations interaction between governments and peoples is an expression of the past, that this also means a new age is beginning.
We often talk about the world of the XXI Century. And we deviously mean a whole millennium, not just a century. We simply are obliged to do anything we can in order to make our civilisation begin the new millennium with an aim of renewal. I am convinced that this idea will lead to a new civilisation, to a humanistic civilisation that embodies the idea of human solidarity.
And, moreover, this idea will lead to a civilisation that can control the process of its own development. Our society has to tackle a wide range of problems concerning the whole world. A single state cannot settle them.
This is ever so much true since today’s world, which is becoming more and more integrated and interdependent, is witnessing the reawakening of national feelings, that often turn into dangerous nationalistic movements. I, on my part, refuse to accept any idea of fundamentalism, be it of ideological, of nationalist or of any other kind. This is what the past has left us, and we must grow away from it.
And I am convinced that Europe should give both an example and an impulse to the movement towards new relations between peoples and governments. Here, on our continent, we have probably deeply felt the problems of the new millennium that is approaching us. We are the first ones who are trying to settle these problems. I also include your movement among those who are trying to find new essential ideas.
The path you have chosen is very close to my observations and to the idea of a “European Common Home”. The future of our peoples and, of course, of Russia, too, will be determined by whether they become one or they remain divided. Moreover, I am convinced that we must do anything we can in order to become culturally closer and intermingled, to turn a close collaboration between our countries and our peoples into a everyday routine.
The idea of setting up new institutions, sides the ones that already exist, in order to guarantee a safe and peaceful existence to our continent, is very close to my own principles. Among these I mention, for example, the idea of an active collaboration between European states within the framework of the confederation brought forward by France.
From this very point of view I support your aims.
From our part, our Foundation (Foundation for socio-economic and political research) is willing to join forces with yours, and with your help, to look for a path that may give a better future to Europe which, as you think also, must not close off but has the duty to consider itself as a part of the world’s society.
I wish your Congress good luck and remain, in the hope that we will closely collaborate in future.