Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-153"

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"Ladies and gentlemen, first of all I would like to express my joy at the current enlargement. I wish our Community peace, stability, prosperity and a good quality of life. God bless our joint work. I would now like to return to the subject of our debate. The EU changed its neighbours and its external borders overnight. This transformation also represents a challenge to produce a new, well thought out integration project, which will be an extension of the current project, at the end of which Europe will be reunited within its geographical and cultural borders. For our new neighbours the prospect of integration represents the same dream as we had ourselves. Our joint task is to help these countries to fulfil their dream. I know from the experience of my own country how the prospect of the European Union membership can be a driving force for carrying out necessary reforms that would otherwise require fierce political determination. The European Union is already showing an interest in extending the enlargement process, and new emphasis in the area of Common Foreign and Security Policy should reflect this. Not only are there new neighbours, but the character of the neighbourhood is also changing. Information technology, rapid transport systems and trade have given the neighbourhood a new dimension. In this respect, our common interest also concerns the countries of the developing world. We can use the extra energy that was released following the latest enlargement for a new spirit of cooperation with those countries. In order for this cooperation to be successful, we must overcome the divergence of policy tools in the area of external relations and ensure that they are simplified and harmonised. This will make the new neighbourhood complete."@en1

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