World Bulletin / News Desk
"Looking at Europe and the world today, it’s clear: the European Union needs to make choices. Choices about its course and its role in the years to come," Dutch PM told European lawmakers during a speech at the European Parliament.
Rutte, who leads a four-party coalition government forged in October last year nearly seven months after parliamentary elections in March, said his “personal views on the importance of the EU have evolved over the years to realize that the EU is more than a market, is also about security and stability."
"The mere fact that we work together, that we are embedded in this Union, makes us stronger, safer and more effective."
Arguing that the geopolitical balance of power is shifting, Rutte said, "if we want to be able to act, if we want to determine our own future, Europe must stand united. Now, more than ever."
"Even the relationship with our most important ally is no longer self-evident," Rutte said referring to the U.S. which has unilaterally pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.
He said the U.S. triggered a debate thought to be "obsolete" by imposing import duties on steel and aluminum.
"But of course we remain friends and allies… And we need to keep working as closely as possible with the U.S.," he said.
"The EU is the most successful example in world history of how multilateralism and the willingness to compromise can bring about unprecedented security, stability, and prosperity."