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Monday, 12 January 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

One-minute speeches on matters of political importance

  Maria Petre (PPE-DE).(RO) Given that this year, 2009, has barely started, I would like to tell you all that, in my view, it is not any ordinary year.

2009 marks two decades since the end of the Cold War and since all the walls were knocked down that divided countries and Europe itself into east and west, with freedom and democracy on the one side and totalitarian regimes on the other.

As a Romanian MEP, but also a Romanian citizen who has known what dictatorship is, I believe that these two decades have marked a transition for some of us and acceptance for the rest.

I equally believe that, in spite of the current climate, 2009 should be the year when our actions as well as the European Commission’s actions should be targeted at a single Europe for all Europeans. A Europe in which each of its 500 million citizens feels that their rights are guaranteed, that there is a real sense of solidarity, that no one can ever be discriminated against again, that no one needs to ever feel like an outsider or tolerated in a united Europe, that we are all European citizens who feel the same way, no matter where each of us was before 1989.

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