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Saturday, 15 October 2005

President of the Republic of Poland attends the XIIth Meeting of Presidents of Central European States in Zagreb...

On 15 October 2005, President of the Republic of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski attended the second day of the XIIth Meeting of Presidents of Central Europe held in Zagreb.
In the morning, President of the Republic of Poland met the Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency M.I. Jovic, and next took part in the Which Socio–Economic Model is Appropriate for Integrated Europe 2nd Plenary Session.
Addressing journalists at the conclusion of the session, the President of the Republic of Poland said:
The session was interesting insofar as the Presidents had a chance to talk with representatives of important European commercial and financial institutions such as the European Bank and various business associations. As regards the discussion conclusions, the consensus seems to be that there is no such thing as the economic or social policy model for Europe. I think the countries gathered round the table represent the whole spectrum of both models applied as well as problems encountered. I believe our discussion of today makes sense insofar as these major European banking, financial and business institutions will be aiding the development of countries that require support. I think this applies mostly to the Balkan states, perhaps less to Poland, Croatia or Slovenia that prosper relatively well, at least against the background of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. These latter countries are the ones that need more investment, more support from the side of Europe,  more by way of being shown a signposted route to Europe as they still give impression of being somewhat disoriented and directionless.
The enlargement offers a great opportunity for particular countries and Europe as a whole. We are creating one of the biggest markets; we are one of the centers of world civilization. The more integrated Europe becomes, the more effective, the better equipped to overcome conflicts it shall be – for the benefit of all concerned.  Several speakers recalled yesterday the words of Luxembourg’s Prime Minister who said, during one of the European crises, that those who do not know what the meaning of the EU enlargement should visit European cemeteries that hold the ashes of countless victims of consecutive wars, of consecutive European conflicts. I believe this is an important message, especially when send out from here, from Croatia that lived through one such war recently, or more generally send out from the Balkans that less than ten years ago were the site of carnage and bloodshed. And thus integration, European enlargement is our answer to the need for peace and security. And then other problems follow: how to spur economic development, how to be competitive against other global centers, what social policy should be pursued.  There is no one answer to all these questions, we should seek consensus and such was the very object of this conference: to address the question of whether we can jointly meet the challenge, that is not only by integrating but also by building our position as one of the competitive economic centers of the contemporary world.       
I believe we Poles are providing Croatia with very tangible political assistance by way of supporting Croatia on her road towards the European Union. And we shall continue to extend our support. I was asked several times whether we are willing to share our experience – the answer is yes, we shall share both the good and the less than good experience. Poles are helping by coming as tourists; substantial funds are transferred to Croatia as payment for tourist services rendered. And this will not change because Croatia is one of the most attractive tourist - not only summertime but year-round - destinations in Europe. We also very much look forward to stability in the Balkans; we are present in Kosovo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Macedonia with our troops, advisers, experts and policemen. This is all very important because Croatia can only benefit from more stability in the region. Poland is seen not only as a good and well-wishing partner somewhere in the middle of Europe, but also an active, visibly present participant of all processes taking place in the Balkans. I do hope that our new government, our new president shall continue this policy of active involvement. 
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