Alphen, Netherlands. 7 January. The news from Paris about the appalling Islamist terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is truly shocking. There is no point in speculation at present but every reason to send my thoughts and wishes to those who lost their lives this morning and to their families and loved ones.
All I can say is that I have never felt as European as I do at this moment and that whatever our differences as Europeans this attack reaffirms my absolute belief in the values, beliefs and freedom which we must all uphold as Europeans.
On 12 September, 2001 Le Monde ran the headline “Nous sommes tous americains maintenant”. Let me say for the record as an English, Briton and European, nous sommes tous français maintenant!
Vive la France! Vive la liberté! Vive la fraternité! Vive l’Europe!