This week the EU's 15 Heads of state and government from the current Member States and the leaders of the 13 candidate countries meet in Copenhagen. We meet with a clear task--to decide on enlargement of the EU.
We will finish a process that began almost ten years ago at another Summit in Copenhagen. In 1993, the EU took the first step towards integrating the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe into the EU. Now we are ready to conclude negotiations with the first new Member States.
From "Copenhagen to Copenhagen" has thus been the motto of the Danish EU Presidency. It is the expression of a contribution to a vision of a unique project and process, and of Denmark's ambition to accomplish a task that has been placed in our hands.
EU enlargement is the greatest political task of our generation. It is a challenge and an opportunity reaching beyond the present day. It marks the end of the tragedy of the division of Europe that marred the 20th century, and provides a gateway to a common future for our peoples, in freedom, peace and prosperity.