English Pages, 3. 5. 2008
President Crvenkovski, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
1. I would like, first, to thank President Crvenkovski for organizing this, already 15th, meeting of Presidents of Central, Southern and Eastern European countries in this beautiful place and even for preparing such an excellent weather. This is my already sixth summit and I always take it as a very important gathering. It is good to meet old friends and to get acquainted with new ones – this year with Presidents Türk and Topi. I appreciate also very much that we have the Turkish President Gül here with us today.
2. Last year, in Brno, we all agreed that what connects us is our interest in the stability of the region, our interest in a further development of mutual bilateral relations and our interest to find common goals and positions also as regards issues that transcend the borders of Central, Eastern or Southern Europe. We also expressed our support for the European perspective of those countries of the Central, Eastern and Southern European region that have not yet become members of the EU. I emphasize all of them, because no one can be excluded. No one is the owner of the European continent, we – all of us – are sort of share-holders and we should behave that way.
3. The issue dominating our discussions in Brno was no doubt Kosovo. It will probably not be much different here. Last year, I emphasized that political stability and economic prosperity cannot come from the outside and that stable and viable solutions are usually generated only from the inside. I also said that solutions agreed upon by the countries concerned are for the people more acceptable than those created by foreign mediators. I stand behind this statement today. The one-sided political decision to declare independence of Kosovo can, I’m afraid, become a counterproductive precedence for other regions of the world. I cannot agree with those claiming that the Kosovo solution should become the 21st century model for some long-lasting European ethnic minority problems. I call upon our gathering to clearly declare this is not the case, to declare that the Kosovo solution is in all respects exceptional and that it cannot set an example for the future of Europe. The Czech government did declare that it is ready to recognize Kosovo, but – in accordance with the prevailing public opinion – the decision has not yet been taken.
4. We are in Macedonia and should express our views on the attempts of this country to become a member of both NATO and the EU. We all know that the name of the country should not become an obstacle. As to the dispute over the name of our host country, it seems to me that there could be no lasting solution without a friendly agreement between Greece and Macedonia. I do understand the position of Macedonia in this respect and do support it.
5. Some of you have mentioned the Lisbon Treaty. If this treaty is adopted as an official document of the EU, it logically follows it will become binding for all countries that will enter the Union in the future. That will happen irrespective of their views on the EU-integration model embodied in the Lisbon Treaty that in many respects reaches the parameters of a full-fledged unification. That is the reason why the potential new members of the EU should take part in this debate already now. Even our meeting here in Ohrid can be an opportunity to discuss it.
6. The topic that would also be worth if not discussing, at least mentioning, is the global warming alarmism, the current irrational argumentation concerning the global climate, the extremely erroneous economic and political proposals resulting from it, regardless their long-term, very unfavorable consequences for all of us and especially for the less developed countries, and – as we see it just now – the very dangerous rises of the food prices all around the world.
Václav Klaus, Summit of Central European Presidents, Ohrid, Macedonia, May 1-3, 2008
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