English Pages, 19. 5. 2006
1. Many thanks to President Parvanov for so efficiently organizing this meeting in this beautiful place. I was looking forward to it and I am really glad to be here with all of you and to meet many old friends and colleagues.
2. I consider this annual gathering to be an important opportunity for exchanging views about ourselves, about our bilateral relations, about Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, about the developments in the EU and in the whole European continent.
3. I would like to start with the – I hope – reasonable assumption that we have many common interests and similar goals, that we came here to talk about them and to discuss ways how to make them the reality.
4. I am convinced we are interested in
- peaceful and friendly relations among our countries;
- political and economic stability in our region;
- healthy and harmonic economic developments in all countries in the region;
- good relations with the countries close to our region – Russia, Turkey, Caucasus, Mediterranean, Cyprus, Middle East, North Africa – because some of them are rather problematic.
5. We are interested in the solution of various problems of our region inherited from the past and connected with the dissolution of some old federations (or unions) – I have in mind the real integration of Transdnestria into Moldova, the fate of Kosovo, the future of Serbia and Montenegro, the creation of a viable and coherent state in Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.
6. We – all of us – are interested in the stability and democracy in the European Union because we are aware of the benefits connected with the successful continuation of the European integration process. This, undoubtedly positive process must not be hindered by wrong and misplaced ambitions aiming at European unification, at the centralization of the European continent, at colorless uniformity, at the unnecessary and unproductive elimination of all kinds of differences and specifics with the belief in “one-size fits all” concept.
I am sorry to say that I see such tendencies appearing in Europe these days and that I do not consider them to be positive. President Mesić in his speech here mentioned “a larger suit that would fit all”. To use the same analogy, I would prefer to have a less restrictive suit which would not force us to change so many parameters of our bodies.
7. I believe we are interested in the openness of the EU, in the continuation of EU enlargement, in having many of you as members of the EU soon. We should resist the closing of the EU which is “in the air”.
8. It is, therefore, important that this group of politicians meets once a year in this composition: heads of EU member-states together with the heads of the states which aspire to join the EU. I consider their aspirations as justified. I look forward to our today’s discussions because I believe that – to use the words of President Voronin – there are many spiritual bonds among us.
Václav Klaus, Varna, Bulgaria, 19 May 2006
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