Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-006"

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"− Ladies and gentlemen, today is a very special day. It is a special day because for the first time in the history of the European Union the representative, the Prime Minister of this country, namely Slovenia, has the Presidency of the European Union. Slovenia is a country that joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 along with nine other countries. And it is the first time that one of the former communist countries now living according to the basic principles of freedom, democracy and parliamentarianism, namely Slovenia, has the Presidency of the European Union. I therefore warmly welcome the President-in-Office of the Council, the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Janša. Welcome to the European Parliament! Today is also special for another reason, however, and I therefore extend a particularly warm welcome to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, because it is exactly 50 years ago that the first President of the European Commission, Walter Hallstein, convened his first Commission. The 50th anniversary of the European Commission is another event for us to celebrate. And so I also send the Commission, as an exception in this rather solemn context, all good wishes for this special birthday. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to listen to the report of the President-in-Office of the Council."@en1

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