At EDS conference in Gimo

At the old manor house of Gimo the European Democrat Students recently held a conference. I had the opportunity to address the conference on the topic “ The visions and opportunities of a free Europe”.

One of the things that struck me, as always when meeting like-minded friends from Europe, was how normal it is to have guests from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as well as from the former East- Germany. It is a thrilling and fascinating time of history we have seen during the last ten years.

At that time the ideological fight was against those who defended dictatorships in Europe, where they in the west or in the east. We won that fight. Now we have to challenge those groups that looks upon free trade and global economy as the threat to their visions of a word under the control of their ideas.

In societies where politics has been the projection of the political leaderships dreams of how the think other people should live has always ended in misery and tragedy. But in societies where politics has aimed to secure the rights and abilities of the citizens to realise their own dream not only civilisation but also prosperity has developed.

That must also be the vision of Europe. To be a strong partner for free trade in the world and to open up the society in all sectors for entrepreunership and plurality. To make Europe the region in the world that is the freest society. To make Europe be in the lead in health care and education as well as in ICT through deregulation and competition. To put the European citizen in the centre of the development. The most free citizen in the world.