Day of Europe celebrations
9th of May 2005
Warsaw, Palace Zamoyskich, Foksal 2 Street
At the Prime Minister Marek Belka's invitation ICIMSS director Maria Sliwinska and Andrzej Horniak took part in a
meeting organized for the Day of Europe celebrations. About 100 representatives of non-governmental organizations
and a group of high school youth from France met with the Prime Minister in the gardens of Zamoyskich Palace.
The 9th of May is a Day of Europe in EU countries. Robert Schuman, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France
55 years ago, presented a special declaration which contained the idea for creating the first European Community -
the European Coal and Steel Community. The day of its announcement is commonly known as the birthday of the European
Community and it gave rise to European integration. That is why it is a symbol of a United Europe with the common
currency Euro, union flag and hymn.
The meeting started with the singing of the union hymn "Oda do radosci". Next Marek Belka gave a speech.
He spoke about the advantages of Polish membership of EU structures. He emphasized the chance given to
Polish youth by European integration. Many young people went to schools in West European countries.
We should be pleased with it, as should the EU countries also. It wasn't a Polish workers emigration,
which everybody expected. It was an opportunity that we would be more European, old Europe would be more
dynamic and experience and education achieved abroad would be pay dividends.
After Marek Belka's speech editor Andrzej Jonas urged members to ask questions. People asked about
parliamentary and presidential elections and their consequences for our integration to the EU structures
and about the ratification of the Constitutional Treaty by France and other EU countries. Participants
asked if Poland properly presented itself in the EU and if Poland was an equal partner in the discussions.
The final questions concerned the political situation of the Prime Minister and the impact of the Government
on changes in Poland.
The meeting ended with a short concert of classical music.