Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-042"

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"Thank you, Mr President. Prime Minister, with your Presidency the new Member States have taken a new step on the road towards coming of age. It is likely that your Presidency will contribute to melting the reservations that have never existed in the European institutions but which have been present in the everyday life of the European Union. You have the first Presidency in the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. Our region knows that, next to the big red blob on our globe, Eastern Central Europe became a blob that was painted pink, but this region has never been all the same colour. This region has always preserved its historical multicolour and diversity. This is particularly well known in the Western Balkans, since Yugoslavia papered over the dividing lines, but could not bridge them. It is therefore no accident that we struggle the most with rethinking and reinforcing our national, linguistic and cultural identity, and we expect you to help us with this, since your Presidency can help in rebuilding an identity that is now inseparable from the consciousness of European citizens. The opportunity and duty for the Slovenian Presidency is taking further steps to take the region’s European mission and enlargement into a new phase. Slovenia is the gateway to the Western Balkans, and Europe’s path leads through this gateway. The Member States’ enlargement fatigue cannot become reform fatigue in this region, since it would endanger the stability of our region. Finally, concerning the Reform Treaty, I am proud that Hungary was the first to ratify the Reform Treaty. Although there are only very few matters in which political agreement can be reached in Hungary today, Europe has been one of them. Our region needs a Europe that works more and works better, and we are sure of the cooperation and help of the Slovenian Presidency. I wish you great success in your Presidency."@en1

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