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Janvier 2006
Conférence Européenne
L'Euro - sept ans après

Novembre 2005
Les scénarios de l'Europe après le rejet du Traité constitutionnel: Quel élargissement ? Quel approfondissement ?

Juin 2005
Table ronde: “Le referendum sur la Constitution europeenne, France, 29 mai, des explications et des consequences”
suite...

Mai 2005
Colloque: "De la signature du Traite à une intégration réussie dans l’Europe Unie"
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Avril 2005
Conférence à Cluj - "L’Intégration européenne, compte à rebours pour la Roumanie"

Mars 2005
Conference « L’avenir de l’Europe. Quelle Roumanie dans quelle Europe ?»
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Discours

South Eastern Europe and EU Enlargement Opening remarks by Mrs. Ramona Calin, Special Advisor to the Regional Envoy for the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am especially moved to address you today on European Integration and South-Eastern Europe. There is some tragedy, yet magic about the timing of this conference.

Horrific tragedy has somehow bruised the most intimate corners of our values, and has left the drawers of our intellect, reason, emotions and belief in some uncalled for space. The grief and anger bestowed upon the United States and us Europeans alike, in full solicitude with this grievance, call for a concerted appeal to work effortlessly at making this world a better place. And here comes magic:

Magic concerns our proven strength for reconstruction. 56 years ago, the Second World War ended with the defeat of the worst evil our European soil has ever seen. Five years later, Robert Schuman presented a plan we still consider the founding stone of European integration. A year ago, Minister Joska Fischer lay before us his personal blueprint for a federal European Union. Placing those three events side-by-side will convince the most hardened skeptic how far we have traveled during these 56 years.

It is not only those who remember the apocalyptic days of the World War whom will have little doubt about this distance. Most of us, younger than fifties, feel this fifty -six years of European construction in our bones.

And yet, euro-enthusiasm is not the order of the day.

East and West, North and South of the European Union, the integration project is up for critical debate.

There are positive reasons for encouraging this creative ferment. There are three months to go before the Euro notes will be used for the first time in the Euro-zone. Ten months to go before the envisaged date of closing negotiations with the most advanced future new members. Sixteen months to go before the European Union will have at its disposal a sixty thousand-strong rapid reaction force.

All these represent momentuous developments that would make the founding fathers most proud of their heritage. At the same time, the European Union has been better at forging ahead with new projects, rather then at selling them to the public. It is difficult to put the blame on the shortcuts of political marketing alone.

The European Union is not and will not be an easily sellable product.

And this, for several reasons. The most obvious one, European integration, is a constant search for middle ground. It does not go beyond what some members see as a red light. A good example of that is the Niece treaty. As a result, we are still searching for a magic formula to make our citizens embrace the European Union the way they once embraced the nation-state, that is, as a normal arena of political debate.

The post-Niece discussion began before ink dried under the new Treaty.
The scale of the debate is a new phenomenon, and one that we should welcome very strongly. What is also new is that the discussion is solely devoted to governance. We are not talking about new projects. The ones on the agenda – like
1. the monetary union,
2. enlargement or
3. security and defence policy – are challenging enough. We are discussing the way the European Union is
4. governed and the way citizens can make an impact. I am confident that this discussion will lead to a better functioning and better understanding of the European Union.

Addressing you with my hat of the Regional Envoy for the Stability Pact for South Eastern-Europe, I must speak in several (tongues, if you want to use biblical language) languages. More precisely, eleven.
And before further debate, I would like to remind you that the core of our activities is geared towards maintained progress via European integration. Our efforts are therefore focused on three main areas:

1. democracy and human rights,
2. economic reconstruction and development and
3. security issues.

The European Union, the Group of 8 and other international organisations have already given 2.4 billion Euros last year at the Stability Pact Regional Funding Conference. Thus, 75% of the major construction projects are underway. We will held a new Regional Conference on assistance and reform in Bucharest, on October 24th -25th . We will then reassess regional assistance and make plans for 2002. We have already been successful. The Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe pleads to remain the main engine to rev-up regional co-operation. I do not, unfortunately have the satisfaction to state that many of the countries in the Pact are near to closing negotiations with the European Union. In fact, Hungary alone is in this fortunate stage. Moreover, many countries are not even candidate members. For those, the Pact is the tool, a vital instrument before they become full-fledged candidates.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We can not envisage a secure and prosperous Europe with marginal countries legging at the doors of the Union. Traditionally and historically all Stability Pact countries belong to Europe. The difficult seven years experienced by the countries of the former Yugoslavia and their neighbours are coming to an end.
The Stability Pact takes a big responsibility upon itself to foster regional economic projects aimed at developing the region. Same goes for spreading successful democratic projects from a country to another. We must work together to strengthen “the soft belly of Europe”.

Gone are those days when we could have spoken of European integration in strictly economic terms. We are now in the political phase of integration. The European Union needs to be firmly anchored on a reservoir of values to which all member states pay heed. It needs to give protection to the rights of individual Europeans.

Candidate states face a challenge that often escapes the attention of EU decision-makers. It is trying to explain European politics to our public. It is trying to ensure that the parliaments are more than mere voting machines, taking in EU legislation without much of a debate. It is trying to prevent the import of a democratic deficit from the European level. Therefore the debate on the future Europe remains a timely one. It attracts much attention from the side of the public. The tools and the paths of reaching a political union, should in my view be one of the main topics for discussion. Such a dialogue would look at the nerves of policy making in the European Union. It would get down to the essence of the democratic mandate for decisions taken in Brussels

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The starting point for discussing political union lies in the member states themselves, old and new. They will, in my view, remain the primary source of legitimacy of European integration in the foreseeable future. Whether we shall have a federation of European nation-states in twenty-year time or not, will depend on a number of factors. Above all, however, it will depend on the extent to which we will foster political unity at the EU level. In my view, the way to achieve this is three-fold.

1. First, we need to start with bringing European policies closer home. European issues are generally not very different from domestic ones.
We should therefore draw a less rigid distinction to our citizens between the EU level and the home territory. There can not be democracy at EU standards, before EU policy is not debated thoroughly by nations.

2. Secondly, more needs to be done to instill political will in promoting more investment in the less advanced countries of South Eastern Europe.

3. And thirdly, public awareness: In one of his latest debates, Romano Prodi, stated that the most difficult problem lying ahead the EU integration process, the only one in reality, is public opinion. At the level of the EU countries, it further weakens, as in the case of this year’s Irish referendum. The most worrisome issue for member countries seems to be immigration. But as Mr. Prodi himself, a strong advocate of enlargement looks at immigration, “fluxes will lessen when people will find hope, when they start understanding that their lives improve due to foreign investment and domestic growth”.

The horrific cross-Atlantic tragedy is going to bring us all closer together.
It already has. In the perspective of European integration, it should represent a call to both candidate countries that are behind and non-candidate countries with a European vocation to work harder at harmonising their standards to European ones. It should be a plea to the advanced countries, which are soon joining to share their success with their neighbors, which are behind, in terms of promoting more regional projects as a common cause. It should remind European Union countries that together, we are stronger and political premises should be taken into consideration equally with economic ones. Europe should be home to capital markets, not capital societies!

It is of steady importance that candidate countries are debating the future of the European Union hand in hand with the current members in a fora such as today’s. The past had us together. Today, the future is uniting us already.
Let’s make tomorrow unite us, as well!

Thank you for your attention.

 
 
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