Pál Csáky, Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Government
photo: Courtesy of the Cabinet Office
For the common citizen, the statement that now the iron curtain will be conclusively removed, even from our consciousness, is superficial. However, if we add the information that several decades ago we were an even more developed country than some of the current EU members, that is worth our attention.
The largest European nations have understood that the future is not in separating and dividing lines but in seeking unity.
They have realised that the victor is the one who remains united. Our European partners need us and we need them. Staying outside the process would have been a tragedy. We have no reason to be sceptical. We will become a part of big decision-making processes.
Even though the excessive European bureaucracy might sometimes get on our nerves, it is just an undesired side effect, rather than the main feature of the process.
Nor should the efforts of some bigger countries to make the process more effective be understood as an initiative that is directed a priori against the smaller countries. We are intertwined and we are interested in seeing the strongest EU countries succeed. Their success will be reflected in our domestic conditions and their eventual problems will sooner or later appear in our country.
We know that our membership cannot solve all our problems at once. We have to use the possibilities that the process offers us, and, most importantly, we have to work hard. We will remain responsible for our own fate even in the future.
However, the feeling of having a chance is captivating, the feeling of being there. I personally am glad that we are "in" and that we are "in" first of all thanks to the support of all of you. Thank you.
10. May 2004 at 0:00