29 kwietnia 2004
On April 29th 2004 Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland took part in the plenary session organised during the European Economic Summit in Warsaw. In the session took part as well: Joseph Deiss, President of the Swiss Confederation and Federal Councillor of the Economy; Ion Iliescu, President of Romania; Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine; Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia; Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia; Kim Traavik, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway; Gunter Verheugen, European Enlargement Commissioner, Brussels. Addressing the participants, the President said that the European accession of 10 new countries on the 1st of May is the first historic chance for Europe to be integrated with so many countries and nations. According to the President, EU after the enlargement will represent more security and peace for our continent. EU is a big opportunity for economic development, especially for the new countries, that are undergoing transformation processes. Thanks to the European Union many countries will respect the same values – democracy, human and minority rights. Briefly speaking, as of 1st of May, we expect Europe to be better, safer, more open and faster developing. Europe will therefore be ready to face the challenges of the new century –said the President. The President stressed how important it is for Poles to understand that, as of the 1st of May, we have to take greater responsibility for Europe, the most important European projects, the quality of European integration. We have the right to expect help and support – for instance in infrastructure development, but the most important what we should offer is our readiness to share responsibility, to participate seriously in solving many European and global problems, he added. President Kwaśniewski pointed out how important it is for Europe and its structures to support Ukraine. It is enough to look at the map to see what Europe means with Ukraine in its structures and what it means without it. I think it is an absolutely different outcome for Europe and our region. –said the president. And this is why I share the opinion of president Kuczma that EU is not sufficiently present in Ukraine, there is little investment and real involvement there. President Kwaśniewski appealed to the European politicians to look at the progress that has been made for the last 12 years in Ukraine. Today Ukrainians are ready to be independent, to have their own politics, but they need support, mostly from the European Union and our region. They also need real investment and good business atmosphere. – said the president. Our main statement of today from Warsaw is – the door is open, we want to continue a reasonable policy of enlargement. A broader Europe is better than a Europe of 15 or 12 countries –stressed the president. At the end of his statement president Kwaśniewski thanked Commissioner Gunter Verheugen for his great involvement in the process of the EU enlargement and wished him happy birthday.