Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-03-Speech-1-015"

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"As a Liberal and Hungarian I should like to underline that on 1 May the legacy of the dreadful Yalta Pact was deservedly consigned to the dustbin of history. This is the most important thing, and I should like to express my thanks to you all for this. Please permit me to give my special thanks to the ELDR and the Liberal family, because the Liberals were already firm supporters of the enlargement at a time when others were perhaps still hesitating. I was pleased and proud of the fact that the Liberal group was the only one that voted unanimously for the enlargement, and they considered us to be full members of the group from the very first day. Now, when some governments have made a last minute decision to prevent the free movement of labour, once again it is only the Liberals who have unanimously rejected these unfair restrictions. Yalta is over, but Europe has not yet been fully united. I send you a message from here, that the Liberals want to remain the driving force of enlargement in the future, until Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, even Turkey, and at some point in time, the entire Balkans unite with Europe. We Hungarians and Liberals will do everything we can to help them comply with the Copenhagen criteria. Mr President, has the political transformation been a success? Of course it has, since today we are all here together with you. However, you must also be aware that the transformation was far, far longer and more painful than we once hoped. The time has come for people to enjoy the advantages offered by the enlarged Union. Our people hope to have a life where their hard work bears fruit. We need to talk a lot about the opportunities offered by the Union. I am talking about money, but I should like you to know that this is not just about money. The Union has triumphantly united not only countries but also nations that had previously been at war with each other. This is why I believe that the Union will provide a splendid resolution of the Trianon trauma. Borders that have separated people until now will disappear, we will all become valued nations and citizens of Europe with equal standing. I believe that the Union will change our political culture, hatred will be replaced by fair competition and there will be opportunities for cooperation. I believe that respect for citizens in the Union will continue to increase, because not just in the countries that are joining now, but in also in the existing members there is a lot to be done in the area of human rights. We will be able to meet the most important challenges – terrorism for example – in such a way that we do not have to sacrifice our freedom just to protect our lives."@en1

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