Prime Minister Donald Tusk acquainted the European Parliament with the priorities of Polish presidency in the Council of the European Union. “More of Europe and more of integration is the response to the crisis,” he said addressing the Eurodeputies. The head of government also paid homage to this institution thanking it for supporting the unification of Europe and the confidence in the sense of integration.
“The European Parliament is first and foremost the institution and the site which never lacked the confidence in the sense of united Europe,” said Donald Tusk. He recalled that it was precisely the European Parliament which strenuously worked on the unification of Europe by encouraging the states of Eastern Europe to changes after 1989 and supporting the enlargement of the Union. The prime minister also underscored the importance of the election of Jerzy Buzek to the post of the President of the European Parliament. “This decision resulted in that the division into the old and the new Europe in the EU eventually lost its importance,” he summed up.
Referring to the current situation in the European Union, the prime minister underscored that the Union was based on solidarity. He remarked that the united Europe, its institutions, or budget were not the cause of the current crisis in Europe. “The response to the crisis is more of Europe and more of integration,” he persuaded recalling that European integration was a response to the First and the Second World War. “Impossible is the situation when here, inside Europe, the doubt in its sense is growing, and, outside, people yearn to live in such conditions as we do,” he added. Donald Tusk mentioned the struggle against the crisis among the priorities of the Polish presidency.
The prime minister also referred to the doubts concerning the common budget or the consolidation of the European institutions. “More of Europe and more of integration require strong institutions,” he remarked. According to him, a strong European Union means effective money spending, European institutions capable of making decisions, more security, more freedom and prosperity and more European leadership. “We shall become increasingly helpless without taking up such a challenge,” summed up the prime minister.
In his address, Donald Tusk also defended the rights of the citizens of member states, including the possibility of their free movement on the EU territory. “The creation of barriers inside the Union is not a method for the protection of our community,” he stressed. The head of government encouraged to taking up actions, which would protect Europe against the recurrence of such barriers.
The prime minister recalled that the European Union also meant basic values and their effective protection for all. Discussing the community of values, the prime minister referred to the European roots. “Some associate Greece with financial problems only. We are not looking for a scapegoat but let us bear in mind that ancient Greece taught people and politicians what solidarity was,” he stressed. The head of government added that the struggle against the crisis must take into account the memory of common values and common history.
Referring to the remaining priorities of Polish presidency, the prime minister enumerated secure Europe as one of them. “Security is the key to understanding the European phenomenon,” he remarked. Donald Tusk drew the attention to the EU security not only in the military dimension, but also in effective response to threats, energy, food, or raw material safety.
The development of the single market will be Poland’s yet another priority. “If Europe means prosperity, we must never forget that its sources have always been the same – free enterprise, precedence of man over the state and equal rules of the game in all states,” said the prime minister.
Open Europe will also be among the priorities of Polish presidency. “If we are able to build a secure, well protected Europe without internal barriers, we do not have to be afraid of opening it to others,” the head of government remarked. The prime minister underscored that Polish presidency would seek progress in the integration process, including the conclusion of the process of Croatia’s accession, the signing of the association agreement with Ukraine or close cooperation with other states in Europe, Asia or North Africa.
A joint press conference of the head of Polish government and Presidents of the Commission and Parliament was held after the debate on the forum of the European Parliament during which Jose Manuel Barroso reaffirmed the Commission’s support for the Polish presidency. “I think that we have been preparing ourselves to the presidency very earnestly and that is why we shall do what we can and what we can not we shall try to do and some of those things will probably be done,” said Prime Minister Tusk asked about the feeling of responsibility connected with European expectations towards the Polish presidency in the Council of the European Union. During the entire conference, a bowlful of Polish strawberries lied at the table before its participants “probably the best in the world” as Prime Minister Tusk remarked. Also Jerzy Buzek and Jose Manuel Barroso encouraged tasting them.