Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-052"

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"Mr President, it is a great honour and privilege for me to be one of the first Polish Members to address the House after the Union’s enlargement. This is an historic occasion, and I am particularly pleased to be speaking on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, the largest group in the European Parliament, and a group that has made a major contribution to the enlargement of Europe. The enlarged European Union is generating great hopes, not only among the old Member States, but also among the new countries joining the European Union. This is particularly true in the case of my own country, Poland. The Polish people have painful experience of the dark era of communism and nationalism. They know how much hard work had to be done in order to join the European Union. We had to make up for the several decades during which we had fallen behind because we were on the other side. Today we are discussing the future of Europe. We hope to endorse and adopt the European Constitution. This is needed in order for us to be able to manage Europe efficiently and for us to take decisions efficiently. For this step to have real significance, it must be adopted through compromise, with the consent of all the nations making up the European Union. It is also essential to remember our roots, the basis on which European civilisation was built. A Europe that forgets its roots cannot have a future. Some of the views expressed in the course of this debate have caused concern. There seems to be an attempt to create a two-speed Europe and to forge deeper alliances within the framework of the European Union. We cannot go along with this. There has been an attempt to establish false standards of what being European means. These are not good omens. They reinforce the political strength of the Euro-sceptics which is most certainly not our intention. The European venture is not yet complete. New states are waiting at our doors. Soon Bulgaria and Romania will join. It is also important to keep in mind Ukraine and our neighbours in the Balkans. Much remains to be done. I hope wise decisions will be taken to strengthen Europe as a whole and each nation individually. I am sure we all aspire to a Europe of peace, in which the differences between societies and economies are minimal. We long for a Europe in which richer countries will help poorer countries. We hope that Europe will stand up to threats such as terrorism. We would like Europe to be a strong and efficiently managed international organisation. Finally, we want Europe to continue to honour Christian values, human dignity, tradition, and morality."@en1

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