Assuming the EU Presidency in the second semester, Poland will draw strength from the exclusive historical experience of Central Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said, when greeting his Polish counterpart on 1 July 2011 in Warsaw. Mr Orbán gave a speech before the ceremonial concert, which was organised to commemorate the commencement of the Polish Presidency.
“Success can never be guaranteed, but I am sure that you will be successful. You have already earned respect among EU politicians, but the force will also be with you; a strange central European force that is only known here,” Mr Orbán said, when addressing the Polish Prime Minister as “Dear Donald.”
The Hungarian head of government praised Poland’s role in central European political changes at the end of the 1980s, referring to the popular movement of 1980-81, which almost overthrew communism under the leadership of the trade union “Solidarity”.
“The EU Presidency makes you glad when you start it and will also make you glad when you come to hand it over”, said Mr Orbán, eliciting a cheerful reaction in the audience. The Hungarian head of government likened this delight to the delights of a mountain climber.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, thanked Hungary for the Presidency. He called Hungary a tested friend of Poland, and addressed the Hungarian head of government by his first name; and at this point, the audience interrupted his speech by an applause.
“Now the European Union needs the energy and confidence of the Poles and the EU will receive this fresh strength from Poland,” Mr Tusk stated. “Today, the Poles invest in the EU. As formerly Poland deserved the EU membership, and so does now, the EU deserves the Polish Presidency. The Polish Presidency will be of good quality,” the Polish head of government declared.
Jerzy Buzek, the Polish president of the European Parliament, said that a Parliament-friendly presidency is very important for the EU’s future. Mr Buzek praised solidarity, and stressed that solidarity could help save the EU from crises and also helps to address challenges.
President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, appreciated the institution of the rotating Presidency, which provides a new impulse and quality to the operation of the EU once every semester, and shows citizens in a very visible way that the Union is a collective work. “The European Union is not some machinery in Brussels producing directives or redistributing funds. No, the Union is a deeply political project: it embodies the common destiny of 27 states and 500 million citizens, on our continent,” the President of the European Council stated.
Mr Van Rompuy thanked Viktor Orbán for the excellent cooperation in the last six months in preparing the work of the European Council.
President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso expressed his opinion that the Polish Presidency is able to build its work on the “very successful” Hungarian Presidency. He stressed that the European Union not only needs economic, but also “political growth”, in order to accomplish the ambitious objectives it has set for itself.