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Debates
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Debate with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, Krišjānis Kariņš, on the Future of Europe (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to say that the development of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania belongs to the miracles of modern European history – the peaceful transformation, freedom. Thirty years ago I started in Sweden a campaign for supporting Baltic independence. We were in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. I remember I met with Sandra, Tunne and a lot of others fighting for independence in Soviet territory, and now a very good friend of mine, sitting here – you are nice as well, Mr Šadurskis – has, after having been a leading parliamentarian in this Parliament, become the leader of the free and independent Latvia.

This is a miracle, and in some way I would like to say to all colleagues here – because for me this is the last speech – that it couldn’t be better than to have you here, Krišjānis Kariņš. But I would also like to say, don’t we need the Coburns and the Farages as co—stewards, telling us the absurdity of not having European Union? Because what you have achieved and what you lined out as a vision of political change – not diving into institutional discussions, but how to change Europe – is manifesting the best we can do and they are representing the absurdity of not doing it.

You are the best of Europe: your country and our country, and as a Swede, we are proud of having you as a neighbour.

(Applause)

 
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