The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/discours/2005/04/25basescu/
Back to the origin page
Speech by Traian Băsescu, President of Romania, on the occasion of the signing ceremony of Romania’s EU Accession Treaty
Ladies and gentlemen,
Fifty-five years ago almost to the day, the Schuman declaration marked the opening of a completely new era in the Europe of the 20-th century - an era of peace, prosperity and unity. In the same spirit, the visionary decision taken here in Luxemburg, in December 1997, opened up a new chapter for the Europe of the 21-st century.
Opening the horizons of European unity, from the north of the continent to the Mediterranean, and from the Atlantic to the Black Sea, will be the greatest achievement of the current European generation. It certainly lives up to the vision of the founding fathers of the Union, all of them advocates of bold and constructive action for a common European destiny.
The process of EU enlargement towards Central and Eastern Europe represented from its very beginning a historic opportunity to erase artificial dividing lines, strengthen and extend peace and prosperity on our continent, prepare us better for the future. The opportunity was not missed and, after the epoch-making 1-st of May 2004, here we are today, in our turn, expressing our common will to be together, "for better or for worse", in an enlarged European family of 27.
For us, EU membership will represent the fulfillment of a dream, more than half a century old, that of overcoming all barriers and becoming part of the European community of values, prosperity and security. There can be no doubt that accession to the Union will represent one of the most important moments in Romania’s long European history. The signature of the Accession Treaty opens the door wide towards that moment.
We have, today, signed up for our future in a Union based on economic performance, sustainable development, social and economic cohesion. A Union founded on the principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. A Union devoted to the practice of tolerance, justice and solidarity. A Union committed to furthering respect for human dignity, liberty and human rights.
Our aim is not that of being just a new EU member. We are preparing to play a full part in shaping our common future, to play it by the agreed rules and to play it with enthusiasm. We will assume our share of responsibility and solidarity. We can contribute to economic growth, security and cohesion in the Union. We are taking very seriously our role as future guardian of a large part of the Union’s eastern border, and we fully share the vital interest of strengthening the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice.
We have set, as one of our priorities, to contribute actively, along with our partners, to a stable and secure Eastern neighbourhood, our common neighbourhood. We also share the vision of a Union with a growing role on the world scene, a Union which attracts and inspires, a Union which is respected and heeded. We are determined to do our part, according to our capabilities, and contribute to a Union destined to play the role befitting its potential and aspirations.
Eliminating a difficult historic legacy and preparing for EU accession have not been easy tasks. Romania has, however, undergone far-reaching transformations in a relatively short period of time. These transformations would have been unthinkable before the fall of the Iron Curtain. In fact, a lot of what we now take for granted, such as a prosperous economic and political European community, embracing, in the near future, almost 500 million people, would have been difficult to imagine just fifteen years ago.
The process of change started in December 1989 has reshaped the foundations of the political, economic, and social life of Romania. It can be rightly compared to a peaceful revolution – a revolution which is still unfolding, in some areas more intensely than in others, with the joint effort of all Romanians and for the benefit of all. The wide popular support for the fundamental political objective of EU accession clearly testifies to our commitment and determination to be an integral part of the European family. At the same time, explaining to our citizens what this new relationship entails, what are its opportunities and challenges, will continue to be high on our agenda.
I will avail myself of this occasion to reiterate our thanks to the European Commission, the member states and the European Parliament for their invaluable role in Romania’s preparations for membership. Today’s event, which I would again compare to an engagement ceremony, was only made possible with the constant assistance, guidance and advice received from the EU, all along the road which led us to this momentous day.
I am sure that the same family spirit will continue in the months to come, a period which we view as no less important for the "marriage" to take place as planned. In what we are concerned, I can assure you that we will spare no effort in fulfilling our commitments. We will continue with our preparations, with energy and determination. We have no intention of missing the rendez-vous in 2007.