Extract of speech by Hon. Jose Manuel Barroso, Prime Minister, Portugal (2002-2004), President, European Commission (2004-14), European Union, at World Summit 2019.

In 2012, I had the privilege and the honor of accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the European Union and, in my acceptance speech, I quoted Spinoza, a great Dutch and European philosopher, who said that “peace is not an absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence and justice.”

When we try to go for peace, for instance in this region or in other parts of the world, of course we have to pursue that goal through political, diplomatic and security means, but I think we should also think about the cultural and people to people contacts, everything that can generate an atmosphere of virtue, reconciliation and justice. It was that spirit for instance that made possible the reunification of Germany.

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