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În Warsaw, newest EU states remind ‘old Europe’ of their importance, demand equality

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The 13 newest EU member states signed the Warsaw Declaration in a meeting in Poland on 1 May to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the 2004 enlargement, euractiv.com correspondents report.

“We are grateful for what we get from the EU, but we want to underline that we are giving back at least as much through opening our markets, our talents, and even hard money in the form of the dividends we pay,” Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said.

The Declaration said all member states should take part in the EU decision-making process on the same principles and in the spirit of cooperation and unity.

“We need a really strong Europe, but a Europe of strong member countries,” Czech PM Andrej Babis noted, adding that the EU Council should have the main say in the EU while the EU Commission shouldn’t be the one who “decides on everything”.

Babis also criticised the fact that the EU internal market unification was not yet finished but admitted that the EU membership is the only alternative.

The Czech PM also commented on a statement made by EU Commissioner Jyrki Katainen, who said Poland should stop treating the EU as a money-making machine.

“I cannot understand how a Commissioner can dare to say this.” said Babiš, who faces EU subsidy fraud charges in his country.

For his part, Slovenian President Borut Pahor said: “I cannot imagine that we will experience another five years of deadlock in the EU.”

He added that thanks to economic and social development, Slovenians have two identities today: a national and a European one.

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