Farmleigh House, 1 May 2004
Today is a Day of Welcomes.
The day when we welcome ten new members into our European Union.
We welcome them with pride. We welcome them with hope.
We invite all the peoples of Europe to celebrate with us.
And we pause to reflect on what we, in the European Union, have created.
We must never forget that:
- From war we have created peace.
- From hatred we have created respect.
- From division we have created union.
- From dictatorship and oppression we have created vibrant and sturdy democracies.
- From poverty we have created prosperity.
These precious achievements were not easily won. Europe suffered terribly from the evils of tyranny and war. For some, these afflictions persisted into the last quarter of the Twentieth Century.
But destruction, division and pain inspired the search for a better way. That better way led to the creation of the European Union - the framework for the peace and prosperity we enjoy today.
Our European Union is truly unique. It cannot be compared to anything that preceded it. Because never, ever, before has such an experiment been tried.
All our nation states are strong democracies. We have come together freely. We act in cooperation and solidarity. We work together for common ends through structures that are found no-where else.
Today's enlargement is the best testimony to the success that is the European Union.
We now pledge to build on all that we have achieved together.
We will construct closer partnerships, deeper union, enhanced democracy, greater equality and even greater prosperity and well-being.
This is the legacy we leave our children. And our children's children. This is a good and noble legacy.
Today, on the first of May 2004, we, the democratic representatives of the people of Europe celebrate Europeans - Working Together for continued peace, for even greater harmony and for increased prosperity for all our people.