Internal Policies and EU Institutions

Buzek's speech at the official opening ceremony of the Danish Presidency

Copenhagen -
Wednesday 11/01/2012

For the past 30 months we have experienced exceptionally difficult time for the EU, facing an economic and governance crisis of historic proportion.

In such hard times the role of the rotating Presidencies has proven to be crucial. You set the tone and give us direction.

Fortunately when these hard times came to our shores, we already had new tools given by the Lisbon Treaty. Without them I believe the crisis would have been much worse.

Denmark is taking over the rotating Presidency of the EU. Your four main priorities - a responsible, dynamic, green and safe Europe - are not only a to do list for getting us back on track. But they also have been the priorities of the European Parliament these past thirty months.

Yes, we need to revitalise the single market. Yes, we need to make knowledge a fifth freedom, as important as the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. Yes, we need to make sure that our economies become greener - without losing either competitiveness or prosperity - while at the same time reinforcing energy security. And yes our continent has to be safe. Safe for our citizens inside, but also outside, the European Union.

Madame Prime Minister, Ministers, you wish your Presidency to be like a "bridge over troubled waters". As that song says - "We are on your side, when times get rough and friends just can't be found". You will find friends in the European Parliament.

Denmark has always been at the heart of the European integration. In Central Eastern Europe we know very well what the "Copenhagen Criteria" are for the future membership and we remember the importance of Copenhagen summit in 2002.

Your Presidency has the chance to create more unity: by integrating Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen area and by keeping as many as possible Member States united under the new international agreement.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Poland and Denmark have more mutual connections than people may suspect. It is not just that Poland is handing over the Presidency to Denmark, by the way- congratulations Prime Minister Tusk for the last 6 months, not many people know that we are actually neighbours. The island of Bornholm has become a very popular summer destination for Poles today. In the 80' it was the escaping place during the Marshal Law. 

Not many people know that many Poles also found political asylum in Denmark in the 1970s and 1980s.

Thank you. Good luck with your Presidency. 


  • Richard Freedman

    (Press Officer)

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