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Old divisions still not overcome in Europe: Polish president

Polskie Radio
Grzegorz Siwicki 30.09.2017 08:30
Europe has some work to do before it effectively overcomes its old divisions and achieves full unity, Polish President Andrzej Duda has suggested.
President Duda speaks at the College of Europe. Photo: PAP/Paweł SupernakPresident Duda speaks at the College of Europe. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

“Real unity of Europe within EU structures is something that is still ahead of us,” Duda said when opening a new academic year at an institute of postgraduate European studies on Friday.

He added he had doubts whether “the shadow of the Cold War-era division of Europe has been overcome in the consciousness and sensitivity of European societies.”

"Not all of Central and Eastern Europe has become part of the European community," Duda told those gathered at the Warsaw campus of the College of Europe. He spoke in favour of an open-door policy vis-à-vis those countries in the region that are still outside the EU and "would like to join us."

He reflected: “Isn’t Europe’s common intellectual, social and political history still incomplete without the achievements of our region?”

Freedom instead of limitations

Referring to Polish history, the president said Poles have made a tangible contribution to European civilisation, demonstrating their resolve to building a Europe of equal nations and free states.

According to Duda, a two-speed Europe, a scenario urged by some, would undermine all the gains of European integration.

The EU should again become a source of freedom and unity rather than of limitations and divisions, he said.

What Europe needs, Duda added, is a "return to its roots, to a model of cooperation between free nations and equal states."


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