The Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, has welcomed the result of the EU accession referendum in Poland and sends his warmest congratulations to the people of Poland. He also congratulated the EPP-ED sister parties – Platforma Obywatelska, Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc, Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, Stronnictwo Konserwatywno Ludowe-Ruch Nowej Polski and Ruch Spoleczny – for their substantial contributions to this very positive outcome and to the level of voter participation in this referendum.
„I am very happy that Polish People have made this very important decision for the future of their country and confirmed their wish to re-join the wider European family. Over the past 13 years the people of Poland have worked hard to overcome 45 years of communist rule and return to common democratic values.
Without Solidarnosc and Lech Walesa, the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain which divided Europe would have never come down. Nor could it have happened without the great spiritual leadership of the Polish Pope, John Paul II. Now the Polish People have decided to give an end to the artificial division of our continent into East and West by giving thier strong support for the accesion of their country into the European Union,“ declared Hans-Gert Poettering.
The European Parliament voted by a huge majority for EU enlargement and the 10 Central and Eastern European countries, among them Poland, signed their EU accession treaties in Athens on April 16, 2003. This is the fifth successful referendum in the accession countries on EU Membership, the other countries being Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and Hungary.
On 1 May the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament already welcomed 69 Observers from the national parliaments of the 10 new Member States. Seventeen Observer Members from Poland have joined the EPP-ED Group and are taking part in the work of the Group and the European Parliament.
Until the first European Elections in Poland, which will be held in June 2004, the Polish people will be represented in the European Parliament by the Observers from the national parliament.
Further information from:
Robert A. Golanski, Tel + 32 475 75 16 63
Katrin Ruhrmann, Tel + 32 475 49 33 57
Bob Fitzhenry, Tel + 32 475 49 33 56