Evropa jako úkol

Pro mne jako pro premiéra České republiky má Evropa význam, který daleko přesahuje zeměpisné hranice. Je to synonymum nového počátku, nové naděje, pravidla „lepšího já", které existuje v nás všech. Je to výraz prosperity, pokroku a spravedlnosti. Cynickým uším možná znějí tato slova přehnaně. Jasně však vyjadřují změny, jichž byla Evropa v posledním půlstoletí svědkem, změny k dobrému, které si nyní všichni Češi chtějí zajistit i pro sebe poté, co jim plody evropského míru a prosperity byly tak dlouho upírány.

V průběhu celých svých dějin zažila Evropa bezpočet krvavých konfliktů; národy a státy se střetávaly a české země byly často krvavou křižovatkou těchto bitev. Hrůzy dvou světových válek a půlstoletí války studené, to vše přimělo Evropu ke spolupráci a integraci ve snaze vyhnout se další sebevražedné bitvě. Ti z prozíravých Evropanů, kteří nasměrovali Evropu na cestu míru prostřednictvím sjednocení, si zaslouží naše srdečné uznání.

Myšlenka evropské integrace jednoduše řečeno přetvořila náš kontinent. Otevřený hospodářský prostor a princip solidarity pomohly zajistit, že hospodářsky méně rozvinuté země, které vstoupily do Evropského hospodářského společenství a později do Evropské unie, se rozvíjely ohromujícím tempem a zvyšovaly životní úroveň svých obyvatel. Nerovnosti v životní úrovni v Evropě se dnes rozhodně neprohlubují, jak se v dějinách stalo normou, ale spíše se stírají, neboť kvalita života stoupá všude v Evropě.

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