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José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Video message on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of German unification on 3 October 2010

Video message

Brussels, 1st October

Today I would like to congratulate all Germans on the twentieth anniversary of German unification on 3 October 2010.

The momentum created by events in German and European history in 1989 and 1990 made things possible which, shortly before, had been completely unthinkable; namely the end of the forty year division of the German State and of our European continent. The aspirations of the people for freedom and democracy were unstoppable.

At the same time that Germany was reunited, the people from the former GDR also became citizens of the EU.

Helmut Kohl was right when he said that German and European unity were two sides of the same coin. This is reflected in Germany's strong and unchanging commitment to Europe, for which I am very grateful.

German unification has had a positive effect on the development of Europe. In return, Germany, more than any other country, has benefitted politically and economically from enlargement. Today, Germany is a very important driving force for stability and growth in Europe.

The German people have convinced their neighbours and their partners in the world that they take their responsibilities seriously. As Richard von Weizsäcker said, "We want to serve world peace in a united Europe".

As President of the European Commission, I am glad to be tackling our common challenges together with a strong Germany that is open to the world; for no state can manage this on its own in a globalised world.

The German people have understood this. Thus, the third of October is a joyful day for Germany, for Europe and for me personally.

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