Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-023"

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"I am proud that the Prime Minister of Slovenia is addressing the European Parliament today in the capacity of President of the European Council. As the Prime Minister said, this is also a testimony not only to the dramatic changes witnessed in Slovenia in the last twenty years, but also to the almost unimaginable changes we have witnessed within Europe itself in this very short period of history. The Vice-President of the European Commission said in Ljubljana that the start of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Council was the end of the division between the old and new members of the European Union. I would like to build on that beautiful thought by saying that until recently we could only listen to what the candidates and thereafter new members of the European Union expected from it. Today Europe has the right to ask the Prime Minister of Slovenia, and Slovenia as the presiding country, what Europe can expect from Slovenia. I think we are faced with an exceptional historic event which has its symbolic and real consequences. It is my personal conviction that it can expect the most Slovenia can give. In my opinion, Slovenia is well prepared for and totally focused on its international role and the presiding role of the European Council. I would like to thank my colleague Mr Schulz for the support our group gave the Slovenian Presidency and, as President of the largest opposition party in Slovenia - the Social Democrats - I would also like to assure this esteemed House that, in the light of the parliamentary elections which will follow the end of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union, I will not use the European politics of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union to make it a target or a victim of our common endeavours for Slovenian success in this important international task. The success of the Prime Minister will be the success of the Slovenian Prime Minister, that of the whole of Slovenia and also my own success. I am convinced that at the end of the Slovenian Presidency we will be able to establish that, as someone said, there are no minor or major members of the European Union, and that there are only those which are a little bit more or a little bit less successful in their Presidency of the European Union. My wish is that, with a modicum of luck, the Prime Minister and the Slovenian government will succeed in being counted among the more successful."@en1

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