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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

President: Europe is us; the European Union is us

President Andrzej Duda

Dear Compatriots!

 

Fifteen years ago, Poland joined the European Union. This was the result of a decision taken by the Nation in the referendum and the result of concerted effort of many people who, rising beyond political divisions, decided that this was the Polish raison d’état.

 

Membership of the European Union has changed many areas of our lives. It has become a challenge for us, but it has also brought us manifold benefits. The opening of the borders gave the Poles new opportunities. Many Polish companies have scored success in Europe whereas Poland has changed thanks to the well-used EU funds.

 

However, all these achievements would not be possible without the joint effort and hard work of millions of Poles. The opening of borders was not a promise of an easy life, the common market did not mean removed competition, and EU money alone has not achieved everything unaided. We are the ones who made the most of the chance that presented itself. I would, therefore, like to stress most emphatically that the success of fifteen years of Polish membership of the European Union is a great success of all of us.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen!

 

After years of isolation behind the Iron Curtain, we are now part of a great European community. We take responsibility for its shape and its future. We are the leader of the Three Seas Initiative, which strives to achieve economic success of Central Europe. We operate in the Visegrad Group. We cooperate with all the countries of Europe.

 

We, the Poles, see the challenges facing the EU community, although we often differ in our assessment thereof. There is one thing we agree on: Europe is us; the European Union is us. We have made a historic decision to guarantee our membership of the Union. Anyone who tries today to provoke anxiety about our presence in the European Union is acting against Poland's interests.

 

Our goal and task is a modern Poland in the united Europe.

 

I firmly believe that the idea of building a strong, safe and just Europe, built on the foundation of a common identity, will stand the test of time and remain a source of prosperity for our Home Country. That is what I wish for Poland, for Europe, and all of us.

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