Indholdet på denne side vedrører regeringen Anders Fogh Rasmussen I (2001-05)

Statsministerens tale ved reception i Dansk Industri den 26. maj 2003 i anledning af EU’s udvidelse (Talen er på engelsk)

Det talte ord gælder

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Five months ago I was proud to announce that negotiations on the EU enlargement had been finalised. We had an agreement! We decided to close one of the bloodiest and darkest chapters in European history. We decided to create a new Europe. To create One Europe.

This is indeed an event worthy of celebration. On behalf of the Danish Government, I would therefore like to thank the ambassadors from the acceding countries, Director General Hans Skov Christensen and the Confederation of Danish Industry for organising and hosting this reception. I would also like to thank all other participants in this reception who contributed, in one way or another, to the success of the Copenhagen Summit.

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A little more than a month ago, beneath the Acropolis in Athens, leaders from 25 countries signed the Accession Treaty.

From that day 10 new countries have participated as active members in all meetings in the EU. From Council working groups to meetings among ministers. In little less than a month from now the 10 countries will for the first time participate fully in an ordinary meeting of the European Council in Thessaloniki.

By now, the voters of Malta, Slovenia, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovakia have given their support to the agreement from Copenhagen. I hope and trust that also the rest of the acceding countries will follow in the coming months so that all 10 countries will become full members by 1 May next year.

In Copenhagen we closed the negotiations with 10 countries, but enlargement will continue. Bulgaria and Romania will hopefully join the Union by 2007. In December next year the European Council will decide whether Turkey fulfils the Copenhagen criteria. And also the countries of Western Balkan have been given a perspective of membership. The process to create One Europe continues.

I can assure you that Denmark looks forward to cooperating with you all as equal partners in our common Europe.

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Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Membership of the EU for the 10 countries we are celebrating today will provide significant political and economic benefits for them and for the present members.

This year Denmark celebrates 30 years of membership of the EU. During this period Denmark has experienced a remarkable economic development. I am convinced that our membership of the EU has contributed significantly to our progress. Your countries stand a great chance of experiencing the same positive development from your membership of the EU.

Today, the cooperation within the EU covers a wide range of issues. I can mention such diverse issues as the fight against terrorism, international crime and illegal immigration. Our work to ensure a better environment and high food quality and making the EU a driving force in improving European competitiveness. Enlargement will ensure that more of Europe will be participating in this work to the advantage of all Europe.

Enlargement will also allow us to intensify our efforts to create a more common foreign and security policy for the EU. There is a need for a strong EU as a close partner for the US on the world scene. In the greater Middle East, for example, a common strategy in order to help foster democratic reforms and economic development is called for.

The new Europe created from enlargement will be facing a number of important challenges together in the years to come. It will take a good deal of hard work, creative imagination and a continued will to compromise to meet those challenges. Based on our joint experience so far, however, I am fully confident that we shall succeed.

Allow me to propose a toast to our common Europe.