Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament delivered a speech in the Portuguese capital at the commemorative event marking the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. President Buzek highlighted the importance of the historical moment .
« Recently we were standing at the Brandenburg Tor celebrating twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Twenty years ago, in 1989 we began a very important process: the building of a new European identity. This time for the benefit of us all, and not against anyone. Today, 1 December 2009, we stand together at the Torre de Belem to mark the beginning of a new era of European integration.
We have always been a continent that looked outward, to the world outside our borders. In the 15th century Portuguese sailors used to set off from this tower to explore the still uncharted waters of the world.
Today in the 21st century we are living in a new globalised world but we Europeans have a new chart to guide us – the Lisbon Treaty.
The period of auto reflection in Europe is over – now we have to make use of all the instruments and institutions that the new Treaty puts at our disposal. Our citizens expect this of us, the European Council, European Commission, national governments, national parliaments and the European Parliament, to do this. This treaty will help us deliver on these expectations.
We will be able to speak with a clearer voice to the outside world, and we will be able to promote our values in this globalised world, values of solidarity inside and outside the EU.
Values of solidarity, not only within the European Union but also with our neighbours, and with the outside world. Values of human rights, and of a particular type of social model. Values of free trade, but also aid to the less developed countries in this world.
The Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa once said that: « Success consists in being successful, not in having potential for success ». Today we need more Europe, not less, because only by working together can we face the challenges of the twenty-first century – global warming, poverty reduction, energy security, international finance, all need global solutions and Europe has to be a part of the solution.
Let us use the potential for success. Let us be successful. »