Opening speech of Frans Timmermans Inspires Thousands of Scouts at Roverway
Over 4630 Rovers and Rangers arrived to the Hague yesterday to take part in Roverway 2018, representing 53 countries.
Record high temperatures allured most participants to stick around the beach and rest from their long travels before heading to the official opening ceremony.
Frans Timmermans, the First Vice President of the European Commission and the former Dutch foreign affairs minister delivered an inspiring speech to the crowd, highlighting the values of diversity and inclusion that Scouting entrenches in young generations.
"As a Scout, you learn to understand difference, you learn to respect nature, you learn that diversity is not a source of frustration, it is a source of progress" he vehemently said.
Being a Scout in his early days, Frans Timmermans expressed his gratitude to the open and inclusive atmosphere he could enjoy as a Scout : " My childhood was not very easy but I always had a place to go to where people taught me the sense of civic duty, where people taught me not to judge but to ask...".
Timmermans took advantage of the diversity of the countries represented to make a reminder of the European diversity and inclusivity and to encourage all Scouts to live up to their duty of "teaching people no longer to hate".
Being a strong advocate of a clean planet, Timmermans took part in a beach clean-up action organised by the Scouts and plastic soup surfer Merijn TINGA. The full video can be watched here: https://bit.ly/2v4hFvU