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European Commission

[Check Against Delivery]

José Manuel Barroso

President of the European Commission

Remarks by President Barroso following his meeting with the President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski

Press Point

Krakow, 09 May 2014

Thank you very much, President Komorowski for your kind words and also for this very good opportunity to meet with you and to exchange our views on the most important issues on the European agenda; and of course also on this very important occasion for Poland, as it is the celebration of this jubilee of the 650th anniversary of the oldest University in Poland, Jagiellonian University.

In fact, my visit to Poland started yesterday, when in Warsaw I had the occasion, in the College of Europe in Natolin, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the accession of Poland to the European Union and I have to say that in the European Union we are so grateful and so supportive of the very important role that Poland has been playing over these years. And I really believe that, today, the EU is much stronger, much richer, much more influent in the world, also because of the great enlargement of 2004 and because we have now countries like Poland at the centre of our Union.

And today I already had the opportunity to discuss with President Komorowski, as yesterday also with Prime Minister Tusk, among the different issues, the very important and urgent matter of Ukraine and the current positions of Russia.

The motto of the Jagiellonian University in Latin means "Let reason prevail over force". Unfortunately, in some parts of Europe today, reason is not prevailing over force. And this is not only a threat to a country like Ukraine, but it is indeed a threat to the European Union and to our common values. I believe that the EU as a whole should understand this and should act with determination. What is at stake is fundamental from a strategic point of view, it is fundamental for our future, and no short-sighted calculus could hide the very strategic challenges that we are now facing in Europe.

And this is why, in the European Union, we have decided to handle this issue in two directions. First, to do everything we can to support Ukraine as a viable, sovereign, independent, stable and hopefully democratic and prosperous country and, at the same time, to agree on some measures to show to the Russian leaders that the kind of behaviour they have been showing is simply unacceptable.

And in this matter, I am very grateful for the very important role that President Komorowski and Poland have been playing, giving the contribution to a common position of the EU. And I would like to also express to the Polish people my high respect for the positions that Poland has been defending in this matter and also my hope that together we will be able to take the appropriate responses to what is, I repeat, a very serious matter for the future of our Europe and the future of our values.

President Komorowski, it was a great pleasure to meet with you, and I hope that we will continue and deepen our conversation either in Poland or, whenever you wish, in Brussels, where I will be very honoured to receive you.

Thank you very much.

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