Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-134"

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"Madam President, on the first of May a new stage in the unification of Old Europe was completed. Euro-enthusiasts cried ‘Europe, here we are!’ Surely this cannot mean Poland was not previously part of Europe? After all, even when through no will of its own, Poland was part of the system of totalitarian coercion, it was able to generate certain forces within itself. These forces triggered the unification of a divided Germany, and went on to build bridges across the entire continent. Thus was political unification achieved. The only pity is that the economic burden of this process is again being borne by the countries that were once behind the Iron Curtain. For Europe to be cohesive, strong, and acceptable to all its citizens, it must accept new values along with new Member States. I refer to those values Europe is tending to move away from. The equality of citizens, the equality of nations, and a balanced economic development cannot remain mere slogans in the context of a world market that is very rapidly becoming globalised. United, we are stronger and wiser. Let us rather build ourselves a single one-speed Europe and ensure balanced and stable development. Internally, Europe must be modern, but above all it must be competitive in external markets. Let us build a Europe that will generate economic growth and reduce the areas affected by poverty. Contemporary Europe amounts to a collection of rules, restrictions and regulations. These are often harmful to weaker countries that have just made it into the organisation. There have also been numerous damaging corruption scandals. What is even more regrettable is that Europe seems to lack the determination to resolve them. This is a kind of disease. If it is not treated in time, it will result in far more serious diseases. Now everything depends on us. It is up to us to determine whether the enlarged Europe will remain paralysed. Alternatively, we could work together to take advantage of our inherent attributes for rapid, joint development. It would then be possible to offer even more hope of greatness to the citizens of Europe."@en1

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