Today we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome. The venue of our celebrations today could hardly be more symbolic. For we are celebrating in Berlin. A city that until 18 years ago was divided by a Wall, by barbed wire, by soldiers with orders to shoot. In which people paid with their lives for seeking to escape to freedom. I grew up east of this city, in the German Democratic Republic. When the Treaties of Rome were concluded I was just three years old. I was seven years old when the Wall was built. It divided also my own family. I did not believe I would ever be able to travel to the West until I was a pensioner. Only a few metres from here was the point where any walk I took would be at an end. But then the Wall collapsed after all. That was a defining moment for me: I realized that nothing ever has to stay the way it is.