"Two months ago the terrorist attacks in Paris produced a shock wave that reverberated throughout Europe and beyond. Across Europe and the whole world people took to the streets and stood in solidarity. This spirit remains very much alive.
The attacks in Paris, but also in Copenhagen and in Brussels, will remain in our collective memory, along with earlier horrors perpetrated in Madrid, London, as well as Mumbai, Boston, Bamako and many other places.
Today, we remember and pay homage to the people who have lost their lives in terrorist attacks in Europe and across the world. We express our heartfelt sympathy and support to those who still bear the physical and mental scars of such abominable acts. We also recall our commitment to support the victims and their families, to strengthen their rights and defend their interests throughout the EU.
We will continue to act with determination to counter that which threatens our European and our fundamental values. The worst poison in Europe's long history was fear. Fear begets intolerance and has no place on our continent.
A Europe where communities do not feel safe or do not feel they have a future here is unimaginable. We will uphold our ideals of freedom of speech and thought, but also, of tolerance and dialogue. And we all need to make sure that no community feels excluded from our European society.
One of the Commission's major tasks for this year is the development of a new European Agenda for Security. We will defend our security and our unity and we will do so in full respect of fundamental rights. Europe's history has also taught us this: there can be no freedom without security and no security without freedom.
So on this day we say once again: We stand strong and we stand united."
Victims' Day Testimonial Event
11 March marks the eleventh anniversary of the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 and injured at least 1800 people commuting to work. The European Union has devoted 11 March to remembering all victims of terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
On 11 March 2015, Home Affairs, Migration and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Commissioner Věra Jourová will participate in an event that will bring together victims from recent and past attacks, victim associations, and high-level European dignitaries. Taking place in Brussels (14:00 – 18:30, Press Room of the European Commission) the event will feature the screening of testimonies of victims, which have been selected as part of the European project "Victim’s counter-terrorism gathering: The voice of the survivors against radicalisation". The event is open to the press. To register please send us an email.