BERLIN – Even though we are often prone to taking peace for granted, we all need to contribute to and take responsibility for lasting peace -- with each our thought, word and act, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said in his speech in the German parliament on Sunday.
"Europe has had its share of good leaders who have implemented policies to create a safe living environment. It is thanks to them that we know that firm protection of human rights strengthens society and is invaluable in peace building and peace keeping. But we all need to contribute to and take responsibility for lasting peace. With each our thought, word and act -- no matter how different we are, and always without hesitation," Ratas said in the Bundestag.
"We are living in fortunate times of peace. It is the European Union that has made a remarkable contribution to this peace and understanding; its very existence has allowed countries and peoples to be brave and exercise all our shared freedoms," Ratas said. "We must be aware and make others aware of this every day and safeguard what we have created together, which is something remarkable and unique."
The prime minister of Estonia said that today Europe is peaceful not thanks to the wars that have been waged, but despite them. "Peace has a practical and emotional value to us; it is the way of living in the world and being a human. Peace means acceptance of the knowledge that life is fragile and sacred," he said.
Ratas said our common history should convince everyone that the European Union helps to withstand all expressions of hatred, greed, and aggressiveness.
"Common and agreed set of principles and rules are a way for countries to ease tensions that are bound to build up within our common space, to say that there are no two worlds in which different rules apply to different groups of people. There is only this one world and its common rules. In other words, trust me and show me that I can trust you. This message is invaluable," Ratas said.
Ratas spoke in the Bundestag on behalf of the Estonian presidency of the EU Council. A speech was made at the same meeting by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the patron of the National Day of Mourning dedicated to all victims of war and conflict.
Ratas also had a bilateral meeting with Steinmeier on Sunday where the current state of affairs regarding the Estonian presidency of the EU Council and relations between Estonia and Germany were to be discussed.