International conference ''Poland and the World in the 21st Century''

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President Ilves: Poland will help to shape a strong 21st century Europe

"A 21st century Europe is unimaginable without the active participation of Poland – the words spoken by Poland hold water," told the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, yesterday in Krakow, at an international conference entitled Poland and the World in the 21st Century. "Estonia expects that, unlike many other European capitals, Warsaw will have the resolve to take on one of the leading roles when it comes to deciding the future of Europe and the European Union."

The Estonian Head of State described Poland as one of the responsible and caring leading countries in Europe, not solely in the region concerned, but in a more extensive sense, and he expressed his pleasure with the fact that Estonia and Poland are close allies in both economic and foreign policies who understand each other well.

When discussing the most urgent practical tasks of the European Union, President Ilves admitted: indecisiveness and sacrificing our development to petty short-term policies is the worst than can happen.

"Let us consider, for example, the budget of the European Union, which only amounts to one per cent of the GDP of the EU. How much time and resources would be expedient to spend on arguments in times when we should keep the main goal – enhancing the competitiveness of the European Union – in mind," asked the Estonian Head of State.

When criticising the poorly working common market, he invited his audience to give up national egoism: "The estimates show that the implementation of a digital internal market would contribute as much as four per cent of GDP in the European Union."

Most definitely, we must consider the future of Europe; however, it is very difficult to build up a new European Union while it is being simultaneously demolished from within, told President Ilves.

The Estonian Head of State gave a presentation within the panel of the Poland and the World in the 21st Century conference to which the former President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek and former prime ministers of Poland, Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, had been also invited.

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