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Repblica e cidadania Repblica das letras
Jerzy Buzek
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Speech by Professor Jerzy Buzek
President of the European Parliament
"The 25th Anniversary of Portugal's Accession to the EU"
Lisbon, 12 June 2010
12:00

Dear Presidents,
Dear Prime Ministers,
Dear Colleagues,
Dear Friends,

Today we are celebrating a great anniversary. Twenty five years ago Portugal and Spain decided to join the European Union.

You came as partners, bringing with you your relationship to Brazil, to Africa, and the wider Lusophone Community, opening Europe more to the external world.

You brought your culture, your traditions, but you also brought that Atlantic spirit which led Magellan to sail around the world.

A spirit of discovery which pushes us to explore new ideas and to find new ways of addressing challenges.

That spirit can be found in our new treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon. Its entry into force we celebrated last December, just across the street at the Torre de Belem. The Treaty not only reinforced the role of my institution, but it also created a new legal framework, and gave Europe the tools to speak with one strong voice to the external world.

Dear Colleagues,
When Jose Manuel Barroso was elected President of the European Commission, it was a strong signal for the countries of my region that Europe is not an exclusive club, that it is open to all countries and that somebody coming from a new member state can also hold its highest office.

Dear Friends,
Twenty five years ago this country made a choice to continue reforms after the regime of Professor Oliveira Salazar, to stabilise its democracy, and be a functioning market economy. That choice led to unprecedented growth, stability, and prosperity.

Today Portugal is also faced with a choice. A choice which will affect the next twenty five years of your history, but will also affect your partners in the EU.
The economic crisis we are all facing is a challenge, but it is also an opportunity, an opportunity to change, and an opportunity to continue the reforms we need to make our Union fit for the 21st century. In times of a global financial and economic crisis I want to encourage us not to abandon the world and seek shelter in a comforting and supposedly intimate national framework, but to engage in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow together, as a union.

We have to find ways to complete the tasks laid out before us, to complement the monetary with an economic union, with coordination of our fiscal and financial policies and by doing this to build the foundations for a strong exit from the current crisis. In times of crisis we have to remember to do the right thing, and not the convenient thing.

Dear Friends,
The European Union is not just a single market and a single currency. The European Union is much more than that. It is first of all a community, a community where the value of "solidarity" is the glue which keeps our Union together.

I was in Greece and Romania in the past ten days, countries which are also facing tough decisions. I will tell you what I told them - you are not alone. Europe will stand by you, no matter how long the road is, and how difficult the reforms are.

Dear Colleagues,
The past twenty-five years were a success story for Portugal. I am convinced that the next twenty-five years will also make you a success story.

Thank you.