Reclaiming the European Street: Collection of President Higgins’s speeches on Europe

Book review: President points to weakening of solidarity and rising inequalities

President Michael D Higgins at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg. Photograph: Chris Bellew

President Michael D Higgins at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg. Photograph: Chris Bellew

Reclaiming the European Street is a collection of speeches on European themes delivered by President Michael D Higgins between 2016-2020. I had the honour of being present when President Higgins delivered his address, Solidarity in Europe: Achieving Authenticity on the European Street, in May 2018 at the European University Institute’s flagship annual event, The State of the Union.

The setting was the historic Refettorio where at another time the monks, joined on occasion by Cosimo de Medici, shared their communal meals in the historic Badia Fiesolana, the mother house of the EUI. Speeches are brought to life in delivery and President Higgins is a skilled orator. Four European heads of state spoke at the 2018 edition of the State of the Union but only one, Michael D, received a standing ovation.

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