Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-05-Speech-3-018"

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"Mr President, as the newly elected vice-president of the Union for Europe of the Nations Group, I have the honour of presenting our position. What we are debating today is the natural legal consequence of the expansion of the European Union. Each of the new countries will have its own Commissioner in a new Commission for a new Europe. This is an outward sign that all Member States are dealt with fairly in the treaties on which the Union is based. We also advocate that each country should continue to have its own Commissioner on the European Commission in future. We feel this is a corollary of the principle of equality and respect for each and every country of the European Union, including the smallest. I wish the new Commissioners well in their work, and hope it will be fruitful for all the citizens of the European Union and for all the countries of Europe. I should now like to make two specific appeals. First, I call on the new Commissioners representing the ten countries joining the European Union to devote special attention to ensuring European solidarity has real meaning. Through no fault of their own, these new countries lag behind the countries of the old European Union in terms of economic development. I must reiterate that this is through no fault of their own. I hope that under the leadership of Romano Prodi, the Commission, together with the new Commissioners, will do everything possible to bridge this gap in economic development between the countries of old and new Europe as soon as possible. It is in the interest of both old and new Member States of the European Union to do away with this divide. My second appeal is as follows. We believe the European Union must be based on justice and respect for everyone of its members. We hope the new expanded European Commission will ensure all countries receive equal treatment. We cannot allow some to be more equal than others in the new Europe. We cannot allow situations to arise where weaker countries are unable to make progress, while politically stronger countries are able to evade even the most stringent of criteria. We hope that the European Commission will safeguard this equality to ensure every citizen of every country in the European Union feels he or she is being dealt with fairly, regardless of the size of the particular country’s population. Finally, on behalf of the Polish UEN delegation, I would like to state that we shall support the composition of the entire Commission, and will be voting for it. Despite the reservations on the Polish nominee we expressed in our national parliament, we shall endorse this Commission today. We believe we must place our trust in it and wish it all the best in this difficult work on behalf of all the nations of Europe and of Europe itself."@en1

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