Speaking at the opening of the 33rd Congress Session, in Strasbourg, France, on 18 October 2017, Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM, pointed out that the European construction has enabled historic advances over the last sixty years. "We do not want to abandon these advances and each and every one of us, in our own particular roles, can help preserve what has been achieved," she added highlighting the role of the Congress in this regard. Reaffirming the importance of strong regions with broad powers, the President of the Congress indicated that she did not believe that "the Europe we earnestly hope for can be built on weak nation States, a disintegrated, fragmented Europe which would be devoid of all influence in the world". "There is no room for selfishness, be it national or regional. There is no place for nationalism, whether national or regional”, she added. For the President, the message of the Congress is clear: "We know that devolution is essential, that municipal and regional self-government, clearly defined within the limits of each State’s legally-established borders, is indispensable. But we do not want to see our nations implode," she concluded.