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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
President Barroso Speech at Signature Ceremony for the Lisbon Treaty in Warsaw, Poland
Signature Ceremony for the Lisbon Treaty
Warsaw, 10 October 2009
Prime Minister Tusk
Prime Minister Reinfeldt
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am delighted to be present today at the signature of Poland's instrument of ratification. President Kaczynski has today set the seal on a very important chapter for Poland, and for the European Union.
The last decade has seen two great steps for the European Union. One has been enlargement, the reunification of the continent and the forging of a common vision between 27 Member States. At the same time, we have refocused the goals we set out in our Treaties, and giving ourselves the tools we need for a more efficient, democratic and coherent Europe.
In many ways, the agreement on the Lisbon Treaty will mark the end of what might be called the first phase of enlargement. This has been a phase of consolidation, a phase in which we have all learnt new ways of working and built new relationships with new friends, new partners and colleagues.
Nowhere is this more clear than here in Poland, a country with a vibrant society and impressive culture, which has already shown its deep European conviction, its dynamic economic contribution, and its commitment to European values. I would like to pay tribute to Poland's political leadership for the part they have played: and it is particularly appropriate that President Buzek, a Polish citizen and the first EP President coming from one of the new Member States, is here today as the embodiment of this.
And today we are witnessing this very important signature, in the same room where the Round Table talks took place, which led to the historic elections of 1989. It is important to pay tribute again to Poland. Without your struggle for freedom we would not have the strong, enlarged and united Europe we have today.
Now, with the strong foundations of enlargement and the Lisbon Treaty, Europe is ready to move ahead. We have the weight and momentum provided by a truly continental scale, the ability to use our rich diversity to pursue our common goals. And we will have the tools needed to deliver a Europe fully grounded in a firm democratic basis, a Europe with the right mix of institutions to realise change, and a Europe able to play its full role on the global stage.
So the next phase for Europe is one of delivery, not a Europe of procedures but a Europe of substance, one where we are not debating structures, but defining and implementing the action we need to take to meet the objectives of our peoples. How we ensure that we emerge from the economic crisis ready to show a Europe of, growth, employment and solidarity. . How we ensure that Europe's interests and Europe's values carry their full weight on the global stage.
It is for this reason that the Treaty has secured the democratic endorsement of every one of the 27 Member States. That is a major achievement. It shows how the enlarged Europe shares a vision for Europe's future, and a determination to look forward.
When ratification proceedings are completed, which of course we hope will happen soon, we will have the double springboard of enlargement and the Lisbon Treaty in place. I am convinced that the result will be a European Union better placed to face the challenges of the future, and better placed to meet the aspirations of its citizens, a Europe of freedom and solidarity.